"You just don’t understand me!" Determinants of second generation Asian and Latino youth self-esteem
International Migration, 55:5, 44–61 (2017)
To understand the integration of second‐generation Asians and Latinos, we study the association between acculturation and self‐esteem, an aspect of psychological wellbeing and belongingness. Using data from the Children of Immigrants Longitudinal Study (CILS ), we find that Asians have lower self‐esteem than Latinos. Females, youth who are from lower socioeconomic status families, have been in the US for less than five years, have lower grade point averages, experience discrimination, or experience more family conflict, are at risk for lower self‐esteem. For Asians, identifying as American is associated with higher self‐esteem than identifying by nationality or having a hyphenated identity, but it does not provide a similar benefit to Latinos. Both groups benefit from being fluently bilingual, whereas English‐language dominance is protective only for Asian youths’ self‐esteem. Our analysis nuances the role that acculturation factors play in adolescent self‐esteem, signalling that future research should consider interactions between acculturation and race/ethnicity.