Migration Timing and Parenting Practices: Contributions to Social Development in Preschoolers With Foreign-Born and Native-Born Mothers


  • This research was supported in part by a grant from The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (R21 HD058141).

concerning this article should be addressed to Jennifer E. Glick, Center for Population Dynamics, School of Social and Family Dynamics, Box 3701, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287. Electronic mail may be sent to Jennifer.glick@asu.edu.


Little is known about how key aspects of parental migration or childrearing history affect social development across children from immigrant families. Relying on data on approximately 6,400 children from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study–Birth Cohort, analyses assessed the role of mother’s age at migration on children’s social development in the United States (sociability and problem behaviors). Consistent with models of divergent adaptation and assimilation, the relation between age at arrival and children’s social development is not linear. Parenting practices, observed when children were approximately 24 months of age, partially mediated the relation between mother’s age at arrival and children’s social development reported at approximate age 48 months, particularly in the case of mothers who arrived as adults.