The Effects of Community-Based Organizations on Immigrant Youth Adjustment

Dina G. Okamoto, University of California, Davis
Cassie Hartzog, University of California, Davis
Daniel Herda, University of California, Davis

In this paper, we extend prior research on immigrant youth adaptation by examining whether the presence and proximity of community-based organizations (CBOs) within neighborhoods serve to protect immigrant youth from risk behaviors. CBOs are local institutions which provide youth with access to positive resources, information, and opportunities; they are also part of the community social structure that facilitates social relations and social capital. We merged ethnic, immigrant, and youth CBO data with youth samples from the Los Angeles Family and Neighborhood Study (LAFANS) and Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods (PHDCN). Using multilevel models, we find that the number of ethnic and immigrant organizations within a neighborhood decreases delinquency and aggression for immigrant youth. We also find that these effects are not attenuated by collective efficacy and social capital variables which suggests that the effects of CBOs on immigrant youth adjustment are not working through these mechanisms.

  See extended abstract

Presented in Session 43: Immigration, Child Health, and Community