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Am J Community Psychol. 2018 Jun;61(3-4):321-331. doi: 10.1002/ajcp.12230. Epub 2018 Feb 12.

Migration Factors in West African Immigrant Parents' Perceptions of Their Children's Neighborhood Safety.

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Fordham University, Bronx, NY, USA.


Immigrants make up large proportions of many low-income neighborhoods, but have been largely ignored in the neighborhood safety literature. We examined perceived safety's association with migration using a six-item, child-specific measure of parents' perceptions of school-aged (5-12 years of age) children's safety in a sample of 93 West African immigrant parents in New York City. Aims of the study were (a) to identify pre-migration correlates (e.g., trauma in home countries), (b) to identify migration-related correlates (e.g., immigration status, time spent separated from children during migration), and (c) to identify pre-migration and migration correlates that accounted for variance after controlling for non-migration-related correlates (e.g., neighborhood crime, parents' psychological distress). In a linear regression model, children's safety was associated with borough of residence, greater English ability, less emotional distress, less parenting difficulty, and a history of child separation. Parents' and children's gender, parents' immigration status, and the number of contacts in the U.S. pre-migration and pre-migration trauma were not associated with children's safety. That child separation was positively associated with safety perceptions suggests that the processes that facilitate parent-child separation might be reconceptualized as strengths for transnational families. Integrating migration-related factors into the discussion of neighborhood safety for immigrant populations allows for more nuanced views of immigrant families' well-being in host countries.


Immigrants; Neighborhood safety; Parenting; West Africans

[Available on 2019-06-01]

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