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Social support, stress, and adaptation
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criteria for these analyses will be the Year 2 adjustment measures. Separate regression analyses will be
performed for each adjustment index. Predictors will include student age and the Year 1 social support
and stress measures. Additional terms will be entered into each analysis to test for interactions of the
support and stress measures by age, to determine whether support or stress effects vary by the age of the
participant.
Discussion: Potential Significance of the Findings
The proposed project will make significant contributions, both to a theoretical understanding of
support processes as they impact educational outcomes, and to providing needed information to social and
educational planners coping with large influxes of immigrant children and adolescents. When immigrant
students enter U.S. schools for the first time, they encounter a novel environment that imposes immediate
demands for adaptation. These students may have limited ability to communicate, sources of support that
were available to them in their countries of origin have typically been left behind, and they may encounter
prejudice and discrimination that they did not suffer prior to immigration. Their co-migrant family members
are often struggling with a range of stressors that accompany immigration, including acculturation issues,
lack of social and economic resources, discrimination, and legal problems.
The proposed research will afford an understanding of how students at different age/grade levels
respond psychologically and academically to various aspects of their postmigration ecology. Most
importantly, it will provide guidelines for identifying immigrant students who are at risk for maladaptive
outcomes, including low achievement, school drop out, and emotional distress.
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