Mother's age at arrival in the United States and early cognitive development

Jennifer E. Glick, Littisha Bates, Scott T. Yabiku

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


This paper focuses on the cognitive development of young children from diverse backgrounds with a particular focus on ethnic and nativity differences in home environments. Hypotheses are developed addressing the extent to which home environment and parenting practices mediate the relationship between mother's age at arrival and cognitive development in early childhood. Data from the first two waves of the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth cohort are employed. Children whose mothers arrived in the United States at the youngest ages (0-7 years) have similar cognitive scores to children whose mothers are born in the United States once socioeconomic status and family background are considered. Multivariate analyses indicate parenting practices and home environment are associated with cognitive development and act as partial mediators between cognitive scores and mother's age at arrival. Overall, the results highlight the need to consider parental migration experiences and differences in the home environments of children of immigrants in the United States as sources of variation in outcomes for the second-generation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)367-380
Number of pages14
JournalEarly Childhood Research Quarterly
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2009


  • Children of immigrants
  • Cognitive development
  • Immigration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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