Household Composition and the Early Academic Performance of Latinx Children of Immigrants

Published by Daniel Millán

Household composition has diversified and encompasses the number of parents and the types of extended relatives in homes with implications for a child’s development. Yet, few studies have included Latinx children of immigrant parents. To fill this gap, I draw upon the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, 2011-cohort to analyze the household composition and academic performance of Latinx children of immigrant parents and Latinx children of U.S.-born parents from kindergarten through fifth grade. I use an ecological framework to situate household composition as a microsystem component. Results indicated that Latinx children of immigrant parents were less likely to have lived with a single parent and more likely to have lived with horizontal relatives, like aunts or uncles, compared to Latinx children of U.S.-born parents. However, they were as likely as Latinx children of U.S.-born parents to have lived with grandparents or with grandparents and other extended relatives. Structural factors largely shaped household composition. Importantly, household composition states did not compensate for the academic disparities in math and reading between Latinx children of immigrant parents and Latinx children of U.S.-born parents. However, the presence of extended relatives did have a partial effect in some household composition states.

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