Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Child Behavior and Development

pp 792-795

Immigrant Children

  • Carrie L. Castañeda-SoundAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Our Lady of the Lake University
  • , Cynthia G. GonzálezAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Our Lady of the Lake University


First-generation immigrant children; Immigrant youth; Refugee


Immigrant children were born in their native country, but migrated and reside in a foreign country.



According to United States Census Bureau data, one of every five children in the U.S. is a member of an immigrant family, and the majority of those accounted for were either of Latino or Asian descent. Specifically, immigrant children from Mexico account for the largest group at 40% [10]. Most of these children reside across the six states of California, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, and Texas with more than 75% attending school in California, Florida, Illinois, New York, and Texas according to Department of Education records [4]. Legal immigrants accounted for 85% of census totals with reason and mode of migration varying greatly [4].

Immigrant children often migrate with their parents, but in some instances these children migrate with relatives, frien ...

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