This qualitative study explored immigrant Latinx parents’ views of the role organized youth activities play in their children’s cultural socialization. Respondents were 29 Latinx caregivers of adolescents participating in 13 project-based youth programs. Most caregivers were female (n = 25) and biological parents (n = 27); all were born outside the United States (83% in Mexico). Caregivers participated in structured open-ended interviews, which were analyzed using a consensual inductive approach. Although the programs did not focus primarily on cultural issues, two thirds of the caregivers discussed cultural elements relating to their child’s program participation. Three dimensions were identified that reflected how youth programs supported adolescents’ socialization: (a) Latinx socialization, (b) multicultural socialization, and (c) civic socialization. Collectively, these different types of socialization provide youth with skills for living in a diverse society. Parents’ views of cultural socialization as a multifaceted process are consistent with the growing consensus that successful adaptation for children of immigrants involves maintaining connections with the family’s heritage culture (enculturation) while developing skills to function in larger society (acculturation). By acknowledging culture as a salient dimension for Latinx youth from immigrant families, program effectiveness can be increased for all youth.
Journal of Adolescent Research – SAGE
Published: May 1, 2019
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