Latinx Families’ Extended Household Structures and Child Behavioral Problems across Mother’s Immigrant Status in Los Angeles

Abstract

Using the panel samples from the Los Angeles Family and Neighborhood Survey (L.A. FANS), this paper examined the associations of extended household structures—the entry, stay, and exit of grandparents (vertical kin) and other extended adults (horizontal kin)—with child behavioral problems across US-born, documented and undocumented Latinx families. Difference-score regression models showed differential associations of extended kin by different types of transitions. For children of US-born Latina mothers, gaining grandparents was associated with higher (worse) levels of internalizing (i.e. withdrawn) behaviors, whereas losing grandparents was associated with lower (better) levels of internalizing and externalizing (i.e. disobedient) behaviors. For children of documented Latina mothers, gaining grandparents had no effect, but losing grandparents and keeping horizontal kin were associated with lower levels of internalizing behaviors. For children of undocumented Latina mothers, gaining grandparents was associated with higher levels of externalizing behaviors, but keeping grandparents was associated with lower levels of internalizing behaviors, and keeping horizontal kin was associated with lower levels of both internalizing and externalizing behaviors. The association between the household transition of extended kin and children’s behavior reflects selection rather than causation in the context of family life course and US immigration policy.

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Correspondence to Jeehye Kang.

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Appendix

Appendix

Table 5. Child and family characteristics for the panel sample

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Kang, J., Cohen, P.N. & Chen, F. Latinx Families’ Extended Household Structures and Child Behavioral Problems across Mother’s Immigrant Status in Los Angeles. Child Ind Res 14, 95–116 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12187-020-09749-1

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Keywords

  • Child behavioral problems
  • Extended household structures
  • Undocumented