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Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Glossary." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 1998. From Generation to Generation: The Health and Well-Being of Children in Immigrant Families. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/6164.
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APPENDIX C
Glossary


acculturation:

The process of adopting the culture of the receiving country.

acculturative stress:

The psychological tensions that individuals and families experience as they acculturate to values and mores that may conflict with their own.

alien:

Any person not a citizen or national of the United States.

assimilation:

The process of immigrants' becoming part of American society. Assimilation is usually conceived as taking place not only within individuals, but also over generations.

assimilation, segmented: 

Refers to assimilation of immigrants who are racially or ethnically distinct in American terms, for example, Hispanic or black, who may potentially assimilate not to the mainstream (white, non-Hispanic) culture but to the segment associated with Hispanics or blacks.


biculturalism:

The ability to identify with the cultures of both the country from which the child emigrated and the country to which the child immigrated.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Glossary." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 1998. From Generation to Generation: The Health and Well-Being of Children in Immigrant Families. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/6164.
×

citizen:

Persons are citizens of the United States either by virtue of birth in this country or through the naturalization process.

children:

Persons in the age range of 0 to 17 years.


deeming:

Access of legal permanent residents to SSI, food stamps, and AFDC benefits has been conditioned by ''deeming," that is, ascribing the incomes of their sponsors to the immigrants for three to five years following entry. Under deeming, the income of an immigrant's sponsor is deemed to be available to the immigrant for purposes of qualifying for means-tested benefit programs.

diversity:

Used in reference to the growing racial, ethnic, linguistic, and cultural variation of the U.S. population.


first-generation children:

Children born in a foreign country who immigrate to the United States.


illegal immigrant:

An immigrant who enters the United States illegally (i.e., without an invitation) or without inspection, or who enters legally (e.g., as a visitor, student, or temporary employee) but then fails to leave when his or her visa expires; also called an undocumented immigrant.


legal immigrant:

An immigrant who enters the United States as a legal permanent resident and who, after five years of continuous residence, is eligible to apply for citizenship.

legal permanent resident:

Aliens lawfully accorded the privilege of residing permanently in the United States. They may be issued immigrant visas by the Department of State overseas or adjusted to permanent resident status by the Immigration and Naturalization Service in the United States.


minority children:

Children belonging to any of the racial and ethnic groups in the United States other than non-Hispanic whites, that is, groups currently in the numerical minority, such as blacks, Asians, Hispanics, and American Indians.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Glossary." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 1998. From Generation to Generation: The Health and Well-Being of Children in Immigrant Families. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/6164.
×

naturalized citizen: 

Those upon whom citizenship was conferred after birth.


public benefits: 

Cash or noncash benefits or services received from government programs such as Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the Food Stamps Program, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), and the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families Program (TANF, formerly Aid to Families with Dependent Children).


racial and ethnic stratification:

Social stratification generally refers to the unequal ranking of groups defined in specific ways. Racial stratification distinguishes persons according to what different races "look" like, as this is defined in a particular culture. Ethnic stratification distinguishes persons according to cultural traits, such as similarity in foods, ways of dress, and language. Race and ethnicity are neither identical nor interchangeable, but as used here both can involve social hierarchies that have implications for a person's life chances. Systems of racial and ethnic stratification are long-lasting, but can change through time.

receiving country:

Country to which an immigrant has migrated.

refugee:

Any person outside his or her country of nationality who is unable or unwilling to return to that country because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution (persecution or fear of persecution may be based on the person's race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion).


second-generation children:

Children born in the United States to at least one parent who was born in a foreign country and immigrated to the United States.

selective migration:

The circumstance in which immigrants who choose to come to the United States are not representative of the full spectrum of citizens of their country of origin due to factors such as higher (or lower) education levels.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Glossary." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 1998. From Generation to Generation: The Health and Well-Being of Children in Immigrant Families. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/6164.
×

sending country:

Country from which an immigrant has migrated.

sponsor:

The person who signs an affidavit of support, pledging to support an immigrant who is being admitted to the United States for permanent residence. Under the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 the sponsor must be the person petitioning for admission of his/her relative, must have an income equal to at least 125 percent of the federal poverty line and be able to maintain the sponsored immigrant at that income level.

SSI:,

The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Program is a means tested, federally administered income assistance program authorized by title XVI of the Social Security Act. Established in 1972 and begun in 1974, SSI provides monthly cash payments in accordance with uniform, nationwide eligibility requirements to needy aged, blind, and disabled persons.


third- and later-generation children:

Children born in the United States to parents who were born in the United States.


undocumented immigrant:

See illegal immigrant.


WIC:

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (the WIC Program) provides food assistance and nutritional screening to low-income pregnant and postpartum women and their infants, as well as to low-income children up to age 5.


youth:

Children who are adolescents, that is, approximately in the age range of 12 to 17 years.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Glossary." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 1998. From Generation to Generation: The Health and Well-Being of Children in Immigrant Families. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/6164.
×
Page 272
Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Glossary." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 1998. From Generation to Generation: The Health and Well-Being of Children in Immigrant Families. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/6164.
×
Page 273
Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Glossary." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 1998. From Generation to Generation: The Health and Well-Being of Children in Immigrant Families. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/6164.
×
Page 274
Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Glossary." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 1998. From Generation to Generation: The Health and Well-Being of Children in Immigrant Families. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/6164.
×
Page 275
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Immigrant children and youth are the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population, and so their prospects bear heavily on the well-being of the country. However, relevant public policy is shaped less by informed discussion than by politicized contention over welfare reform and immigration limits.

From Generation to Generation explores what we know about the development of white, black, Hispanic, and Asian children and youth from numerous countries of origin. Describing the status of immigrant children and youth as "severely understudied," the committee both draws on and supplements existing research to characterize the current status and outlook of immigrant children.

The book discusses the many factors—family size, fluency in English, parent employment, acculturation, delivery of health and social services, and public policies—that shape the outlook for the lives of these children and youth. The committee makes recommendations for improved research and data collection designed to advance knowledge about these children and, as a result, their visibility in current policy debates.

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