Mixed-Status Immigrant Families in the United States: The Role of Social Justice in Intervention Research

Mackenzie D M Whipps, Hirokazu Yoshikawa

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


More than 4 million unauthorized parents of legal status children currently reside in the United States (Capps, Fix, & Zong, 2016). Developmental scientists and intervention researchers hoping to work with these mixed-status families face a myriad of challenges, largely generated from the population's policy-driven social exclusion. Despite the challenges, there is a moral imperative to work with and support parents and children currently living in mixed-status households. This chapter applies a social justice perspective, largely stemming from Prilleltensky's critical community psychological framework, to improve the relevance and usefulness of research on mixed-status families (Prilleltensky & Nelson, 1997). We discuss the utility of this social justice perspective in theory building, study design and implementation, and dissemination of findings regarding mixed-status families, with exemplars from recent research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEquity and Justice in Developmental Science
Subtitle of host publicationImplications for Young People, Families, and Communities, 2016
EditorsStacey S. Horn, Martin D. Ruck, Lynn S. Liben
PublisherAcademic Press Inc.
Number of pages25
ISBN (Print)9780128018965
StatePublished - 2016

Publication series

NameAdvances in Child Development and Behavior
ISSN (Print)0065-2407


  • Immigration
  • Intervention
  • Policy
  • Social justice
  • Unauthorized

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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