Examining Correlates of Civic Engagement Among Immigrant Adolescents in the United States

Laura Wray-Lake, Wendy M. Rote, Taveeshi Gupta, Erin Godfrey, Selcuk Sirin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Using a diverse urban sample of immigrant adolescents in the United States (N = 345) followed from 10th grade (Mage = 15.69) to 12th grade, this study examined the extent to which ecological assets (i.e., community connections and social network resources) predicted civic commitments (i.e., community engagement, social responsibility) as potentially mediated by fair society beliefs. The authors also examined whether ethnicity and generation status moderated these associations. As hypothesized, fair society beliefs were higher and predicted greater civic commitments only among Asian youth. Ecological assets were associated with greater civic commitments for all participants; these links were primarily direct for Latino immigrants and indirect (via fair society beliefs) for Asian youth. First-generation immigrants had more ecological assets and were more civically committed, however social network resources predicted fair society beliefs and community engagement only for second-generation youth. These differences indicate that immigrant youth are best understood as a heterogeneous group and suggest the need for further investigation of cultural variations in civic developmental processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10-27
Number of pages18
JournalResearch in Human Development
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Apr 3 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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