cacy and higher feelings of alienation from their schoolmates than third- and later-generation white youth. In contrast, the immigrant youth and their white counterparts with U.S.-born parents did not differ in their self-concepts. The Add Health analyses (Harris, 1998) found no differences between first- and second-generation immigrant youth and third- and later-generation white youth in psychological well-being and distress (see Table 3-2). Taken together, these results may suggest that immigrant youth are able to maintain positive feelings about themselves and their general well-being, despite perceiving that they have relatively less control over their lives and are less well accepted by their school peers.
After the effects of socioeconomic status are statistically excluded, the NELS data continue to show relatively lower self-efficacy among first- and second-generation youth who are Hispanic and Asian compared with third- and later-generation white youth (see Figures 3-7 and 3-8). Black youth in immigrant families and third- and later-generation white youth, however, no longer differ significantly. With respect to alienation, after controls are added, first- and second-generation Asian youth continue to show higher feelings of alienation than third- and later-generation white youth. Among Hispanics, however, only the second generation continues to differ significantly from third- and later-generation white youth; among black youth, only the third generation shows significant differences. It is also important to note that, especially for Hispanic youth in immigrant families, low socioeconomic status is an important explanatory factor, leading to reports of lower self-efficacy and greater alienation.
When controls for socioeconomic influences such as family and neighborhood poverty are added in the Add Health data, differences in psychological well-being and distress emerge as well, but they are in the opposite direction from those found in the NELS data. When differences are found, first- and second-generation immigrant youth demonstrate better psychological well-being than third- and later-generation white youth. There is one exception, however: adolescents from the Philippines, among the most Americanized of the immigrant groups studied and a group speaking English as its native language, experienced higher psychological distress in every generation than third- and later-