32 Int'l Migration Rev. 3 (1998)

handle is hein.journals/imgratv32 and id is 1 raw text is: 


Understanding the Living

Arrangements of Latino Immigrants: A

Life Course Approach'

Susan Blank
University of California, Irvine

Ramon  S. Torrecilha
Social Science Research Council

    Using  data from the 1990  Panel Study of Income  Dynamics  Latino
    Sample, this study examines three competing hypotheses for understand-
    ing extended family living among Mexican, Puerto Rican  and Cuban
    immigrants. The  findings indicate no significant relationship between
    living with extended kin and cultural indicators - such as English fluen-
    cy - or economic factors - such as employment and income. Rather, the
    data support a life course explanation. Extended family living arrange-
    ments among  Latino immigrants represent a resource generating strategy
    for caring for young children and older adults. Differences in age, relative
    location in the life course, and migration opportunities inform group
    variation in extended living arrangements for Mexican, Puerto Rican and
    Cuban  immigrants. These findings verify patterns of household compo-
    sition among Latino immigrants suggested by nonrandom, ethnograph-
    ic samples.

Although  much of the extant literature on Latino immigrants has dealt with
the importance of family networks in the immigration process (Massey et al.,
1987; Portes and Bach, 1985; Tienda, 1980), research on the living arrange-
ments  of these migrants remains scant and inconclusive. Two competing
hypotheses dominate  research on the household  composition of Latinos.
One  such hypothesis suggests that cultural values are the most salient deter-
minants  of living arrangements among Latinos (Burr and Mutchler, 1993;
Perez, 1986; Tienda and Angel, 1982; Tienda and Glass, 1985). The second
hypothesis maintains that structural factors, such as economic standing, are
more  important in determining the living arrangements for this population
(Baca Zinn, 1994, 1995; Sanders and Nee, 1996; Vega, 1995). There exists
some  support for both hypotheses. However, findings regarding the impact of
cultural and economic  parameters on  the living arrangements of Latino
'This project was supported, in part, by a Staff Professional Development Grant from the
Social Science Research Council to Ramon S. Torrecilha. We thank Judy Treas and anony-
mous reviewers for their comments.

@ 1998 by the Center for Migration Studies of New York. All rights reserved.
0197-9183/98/3201.0121


IMR  Volume 32 Number  1 (Spring 1998): 0003-0019


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