Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 18, Issue 5, pp 996–1006 | Cite as

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

  • Jun Sung HongEmail author
  • Gabriel J. Merrin
  • Shantel Crosby
  • Debra M. Hernandez Jozefowicz
  • Jeoung Min Lee
  • Paula Allen-Meares
Original Paper


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.


Immigration Safety School Social-ecological framework Youth 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

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.

Conflict of Interest

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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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jun Sung Hong
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Gabriel J. Merrin
    • 3
  • Shantel Crosby
    • 1
  • Debra M. Hernandez Jozefowicz
    • 4
  • Jeoung Min Lee
    • 1
  • Paula Allen-Meares
    • 5
  1. 1.School of Social WorkWayne State UniversityDetroitUSA
  2. 2.Department of Social WelfareSungkyunkwan UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.Division of Child Development, Department of Educational PsychologyUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignChampaignUSA
  4. 4.School of Social WorkUniversity of WindsorWindsorCanada
  5. 5.College of MedicineUniversity of Illinois at ChicagoChicagoUSA

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