Scientist NameAdolescent Latino Acculturation Study

Oregon Social Learning Center

Principal Investigator: Charles R. Martinez, Jr.
Co-Investigators: J. Mark Eddy, David DeGarmo.
Project Coordinator: Betsy Ruth
Year Project Began: 2005
Funder: National Institute on Drug Abuse

How do Latino families who have immigrated to the U.S. adapt to life in this country?

The ALAS study is a research project designed to learn more about how Latino families who have immigrated to the United States adapt to life in this country. We know that parents usually adapt or “acculturate” to a new culture and language at a much slower rate than their children. We want to learn how that difference in acculturation rates affects the relationship between parents and their children. We also want to know if this difference places the children at any higher risk for behaviors such as substance use, gang involvement and poor performance in school. To carry out this study, we recruited 225 Latino families with youngsters in grades 6 – 10 who were born in Latin America. Each family was involved with the study for three years and took part in a number of interviews, both in person and over the telephone. Data from this study will help us better understand what kinds of programs and policies can most help immigrant families as they make the often-difficult transition from their countries of origin to life in the United States.

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