Understanding the Role of Immigrant Families' Cultural and Structural Mechanisms in Immigrant Children's Experiences Beyond High School: Lessons for Social Work Practitioners

Publication Date


Document Type



The destinies of contemporary immigrant generation are challenged by the profound reshaping of U.S. economy and the increasing diversity of new immigrant communities from the Latin American and Asian regions. Family represents a key link between immigrant children’s social adjustment beyond high school and relationship with the mainstream society. Placing an emphasis on culture and social structure, this article reviews contemporary literature and provides a framework for knowledge that helps social work practitioners and policy planners explore the distinguishing features of immigrant families that confer an advantage within their children’s post-secondary education or labor market participation. Also considered is how culture and social structure overlap and interact to exert a significant influence on the future economic prospects of immigrant children.