Immigrant youth influences on U.S. youth culture

E. Trejos-Castillo, R. Zaru, P. Mashburn, G. Paruolo, I. Raufu, R. Ceniceros

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


    This chapter explores immigrant youth's contributions to U.S. culture and identifies potential influences on modern day and future generations. The chapter first introduces immigrant youth by providing a general overview of their demographics, noting that immigrant youth comprise about one quarter of the United States child population. It introduces the Positive Youth Development (PYD) perspective and its relevance to the discussion of immigrant youth culture. Immigrant youth culture is examined first by discussing their impact on virtual spaces, such as social media and the internet. Next, the chapter outlines the influence of immigrant youth on culture through various contexts, such as schools and healthcare. In addition, the chapter discusses immigrant youth's individual characteristics and contributions to youth culture, such as identity development and community engagement. The literature reviewed suggests that the majority of scholarship on immigrant youth centers on their impact during adulthood, as opposed to during adolescence. Additionally, current scholarship highlights mostly the contextual and societal impacts on youth culture and does not adequately address individual level impacts on youth culture. Focusing more on individual contributions can enable immigrant youth to voice their experiences and could potentially shed light on gaps in programming and services available for immigrant youth. An expansion of access to opportunities and services that can benefit immigrant youth to positively contribute to their society via social policies and programs is warranted. For instance, youth-serving programs should utilize social media as a way to access and engage the immigrant youth population. It is essential to incorporate multilingual modes of communication to ensure that immigrant youth are provided with a wide range of resources in languages they are proficient in and that consider their cultural diversity. Given the many obstacles that immigrant youth may experience, programming should allow youth to evaluate their journeys as immigrants, both on the micro and macro level, as this reflection may promote positive development. Overall, current scholarship does not yield a clear understanding of the interactions of immigrant youth and other marginalized and minoritized youth in the United States. Future research should consider these interactions as they may provide insights on youth's political activism efforts and could contribute to legislation and policies.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationAdvances in Sociology Research. Volume 35
    PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
    Number of pages32
    ISBN (Electronic)9781536199093
    ISBN (Print)9781536198553
    StatePublished - Jul 14 2021


    • Immigrant youth
    • Positive youth development
    • Youth culture


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