F lo rid a In te rn a tio n a l U n iv e rs ity
P r o je c t
SOL
(S tu d en ts fro m O th er L an d s )
Social Networks of Newly Immigrant
Children and Adolescents:
Network Disruption and Change over Time
Levitt, M. J., Levitt, J. L., Hodgetts, J., Lane, J. D.,
Perez, E. I. & Pierre, F.
This research was funded by the Spencer Foundation.
Address correspondence to: [email protected]
Immigration & the Social Convoy
• Social networks (convoys) change over major
life transitions.
• Immigration is a profound transition requiring
extensive adaptation.
• Little is known about the early stages of
adaptation in children and adolescents.
The Present Study
• Followed newly immigrant children over
their first two years in the U. S.
• Focused on social network disruption,
social support, and personal adjustment.
Research Questions
• Extent and nature of network disruption?
• Consequences of network disruption?
• Variation by country of origin?
Sample
• N = 512 (51% male) public school students
in Miami-Dade County, FL.
• Countries of origin: Argentina, Colombia,
Cuba, Haiti, & the West Indies.
• Grade levels: 3-4, 6-7, & 9 (age 7-18).
• In U. S. for < 1 year at the beginning of the
project.
Procedure
• Personal interview at school in participant’s
native language.
• Second interview 1 year later.
Network & Support Measures
• Social convoy map
• Social support functions
Convoy Map
9. Lourdes
R ovira
10. R ubén
R um baut
11. Alex
S tepic k
6. S onja
B raun-G aetje ns
7. Jam es
Jac ks on
1. Mom
2. D ad
8. W illiam
K urtines
3. G as tón
B us tos
R 's Nam e
.
4. Jennifer
Hodgetts
5. Avida n
Milevs ky
12. C arola
S uárez O roz c o
Support Functions
1. Are there people you talk to about things that are really
important to you?
2. …who make you feel better when something bothers
you or you are not sure about something?
3. …who would take care of you if you were sick?
4. …who like to be with you and do fun things with you?
5. …who help you with homework or other work you do
for school?
6. …who make you feel special or good about yourself?
Additional Measures
• Proportion of network members remaining in
country of origin
• Frequency of contact with each network
member
• Self-concept
• Psychological distress
Network Disruption:
Convoy Members in Country of Origin
• 43% of the child’s convoy
members were in the
country of origin at Time 1.
14
12
10
8
• 35% of convoy members
were in the country of
origin at Time 2: A
significant change.
N in Convoy
6
N in Country
4
2
0
Time 1
Time 2
Specific Relations in Country of Origin
• Over half of extended
family & most friends were
in the country of origin at
Time 1.
6
5
N Time 1
4
Ctry T 1
3
Friends
Ext Fm
1
Close Fm
• Both the proportion of
friends in the country of
origin & the total number of
friends dropped at Time 2.
2
0
N Time 2
Ctry T 2
Convoy Members in Country of Origin
by Group
W. Indies
Haiti
N in
Country
Cuba
• Haitians had smaller
convoys & proportionally
fewer in country of origin.
Total N
Colombia
• Argentineans had
proportionally more in
country of origin.
16
14
12
10
8
6
4
2
0
Argentina
• Argentinean & West
Indian children had larger
convoys overall.
Support by Relation
• Support was provided
mostly by close family,
followed by extended
family & friends.
3
2.5
2
1.5
1
Friends
0
Ext Fm
0.5
Close Fm
• Participants reported
more support from close
family & friends, less
from extended family at
Time 2.
Time 1
Time 2
Support by Relation by Group
3
2.5
2
Cl Fm
Ex Fm
Friend
1.5
1
W.Indies
Haiti
Cuba
0
Colombia
0.5
Argentina
• Haitians reported less
support overall & even
less from friends.
• Argentineans were
highest in friend
support.
• Time 2 effects were
comparable.
Network Disruption, Contact & Support
• % of network members in the country of origin correlated with less
contact with network members, but not less support.
• Participants with greater close family network disruption perceived
more support from close family members.
% in C o u n try
T im e 1
C lo se F am ily
E x ten d ed F am ily
F rien d s
T im e 2
C lo se F am ily
E x ten d ed F am ily
F rien d s
C o n tact
S u p p o rt
-.8 5 * *
-.8 0 * *
-.7 6 * *
.1 5 * *
-.0 1
.0 4
-.8 5 * *
-.7 9 * *
-.7 7 * *
.1 8 * *
-.0 1
-.0 4
* p < .0 5 . * * P < .0 1 . (N u m b ers are co rrelatio n co efficien ts .)
Adjustment Analyses
• Network disruption was related weakly to distress at Time 2.
• Support was related to more positive self-concept across time and
to less distress at Time 1.
• Effects were mostly comparable across country-of-origin groups.
S elf C o n cep t
T im e 1
% in C o u n try
C o n tact
S u p p o rt
T im e 2
% in C o u n try
C o n tact
S u p p o rt
.0 6
.1 2
.1 0 *
.0 5
.0 0
.1 2 * *
D istress
-.0 2
-.0 6
-.0 9 *
-.0 7
.1 6
.1 3 * *
* p < .0 5 . * * P < .0 1 . (N u m b ers are stan d ard ized b etas.)
-.0 5
-.0 7
-.0 4
.0 6 *
-.0 4
.0 0
Network Disruption and Desire to Go Back
or Stay in the U. S.
• Participants with more
convoy members in
their country of origin
were more likely to say
they wanted to go back.
0.5
0.45
0.4
0.35
0.3
0.25
Go Back
0.2
Stay Here
0.15
0.1
0.05
0
Time 1
Time 2
Conclusions
• Child and adolescent networks are disrupted
significantly by migration.
• Support from close family and new friends may
compensate for a loss of extended family support.
• Effects of network disruption may emerge over time.
• How the dynamics of social network change affect
further adaptation remains to be seen.
• Characteristics of new friendship networks may be
especially salient.
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Convoy Members in Home Country