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Children of U.S. Immigrants May Have Academic Edge

Their mental health is similar to children of native-born Americans, study also finds

TUESDAY, Sept. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Children of immigrants have advantages in academics and school participation, which could help them move toward adulthood more easily than children of people born in the United States, a new study finds.

And those who arrive in the country before their teens may be on track for the most success in school.

The study was published in the September/October issue of the journal Child Development.

"Our findings challenge pessimistic views that having immigrant parents places children at a disadvantage at the point of transitioning to adulthood," study leader Lingxin Hao, a professor of sociology at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, said in a journal news release. "Children of immigrants, when compared to children of native-born parents, are actually at an advantage on some key early adult outcomes."

The study involved more than 10,000 adolescents ranging in age from 13 to 17. Using two databases -- on adolescent health and academic achievement -- researchers followed their progress to ages 25 to 32 to reach their conclusions.

In terms of mental health, children of immigrants had no difference in depression compared to children of native-born Americans.

More information

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security provides statistics on immigrants in the United States.


SOURCE: Child Development, news release, Sept. 11, 2012

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