Linguistic isolation in the home and community: Protection or risk for young children?

Jennifer E. Glick, Laquitta Walker, Luciana Luz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Studies of immigrant adaptation in the United States emphasize the importance of duration of residence, language use, location of schooling and other factors related to the migration process in determining outcomes for immigrants. Research also points to the variability of socioeconomic mobility among immigrants and their descendants across receiving contexts encountered in the United States. This paper extends this model to young children and examines how the linguistic environment of the family and the community interact to produce differential developmental outcomes. The analyses rely on data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort (ECLS-B) and 2000 US Census. Children's cognitive scores vary considerably by mothers' nativity and household linguistic isolation; a result that is largely influenced by the greater likelihood of living in poverty for children in linguistically isolated homes. The level of linguistic isolation in the community is also associated with cognitive scores but the greatest variation in scores across communities occurs among children of US born mothers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)140-154
Number of pages15
JournalSocial Science Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2013


  • Children of immigrants
  • Cognitive development
  • Community characteristics
  • Linguistic isolation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science


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