Individual and Contextual Factors Associated with Immigrant Youth Feeling Unsafe in School: A Social-Ecological Analysis


Despite the increasing proportion of immigrant youth in U.S. school districts, no studies have investigated their perceptions of their school. This study examines factors associated with perceptions of school safety among immigrant youth within individual, family, peer, and school contexts. Data were drawn from Wave II of the Children of Immigrants Longitudinal Study (n = 4288) and hierarchical logistic regression analyses were conducted. African–Americans, females, and youth with limited English proficiency were more likely to perceive their school as unsafe. Youth who reported that family cohesion was important and those who had close friends perceived their school as safe. Also, those who experienced illegal activities in school reported feeling unsafe. Assessment and intervention in schools needs to consider individual and contextual factors associated with perceptions of school safety. Additional research is needed to examine individual and contextual factors related to immigrant youths’ perceptions of school.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Jun Sung Hong.

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Ethical Statements

Because Children of Immigrants Longitudinal Study (CILS) is a publicly available dataset, which does not allow for identification of the participants, the present study was exempted from Institutional Review Board oversight.

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The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.

Human Participants/Animals

Because CILS is a publicly available dataset, there are no ethical issues with regards to human participants/animals in the present study.

Informed Consent

Because CILS is a publicly available dataset, there are no ethical issues with regards to informed consent in the present study.

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Hong, J.S., Merrin, G.J., Crosby, S. et al. Individual and Contextual Factors Associated with Immigrant Youth Feeling Unsafe in School: A Social-Ecological Analysis. J Immigrant Minority Health 18, 996–1006 (2016).

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  • Immigration
  • Safety
  • School
  • Social-ecological framework
  • Youth