States increased even faster—from 20 million to 27 million—with the number of children of immigrants growing commensurately. Furthermore, while one-third of the immigrant population of the United States resided in California, over 40 percent of under-18 children of immigrants lived in California. Hence, the size and concentration of this emerging population, added to its diverse national and socioeconomic origins and forms of adaptation, make its present evolution extraordinarily important.
This chapter presents the latest results of a comprehensive longitudinal study of the educational performance and social, cultural, and psychological adaptation of children of immigrants, the new second generation now growing up in American cities. Since late 1991 the Children of Immigrants Longitudinal Study has followed the progress of a large sample of teenagers representing over 70 nationalities in two key areas of immigrant settlement in the United States: Southern California (San Diego) and South Florida (Miami and Fort Lauderdale). The original survey, conducted in spring 1992 (T1), interviewed over 5,200 students enrolled in the eighth and ninth grades in schools of the San Diego Unified School District (N = 2,420) and the Dade and Broward County Unified School Districts (N = 2,842). The sample was drawn in the junior high grades, a level at which dropout rates are still relatively rare, to avoid the potential bias of differential dropout rates between ethnic groups at the senior high school level. For purposes of the study, students were eligible to enter the sample if they were U.S. born but had at least one immigrant (foreign-born) parent or if they themselves were foreign born and had come to the United States at an early age, most before age 10. (For selected T1 results and further information on its research design, see Portes, 1995, 1996; Portes and Rumbaut, 1996; Portes and Schauffler, 1996; and Rumbaut 1994a, 1995, 1997a.)
Three years after the original survey, in 1995-1996 (T2), a second survey of the same group of children of immigrants was conducted—this time supplemented by in-depth interviews with a stratified sample of their parents as well—using survey questionnaires specially developed for longitudinal and comparative analyses. The purpose of this follow-up effort was to add a temporal dimension to the study and ascertain changes over time in the family situation, school achievement, educational and occu-