Generational Differences in Children's Externalizing Behavior Problems

Moon, Ui Jeong;Hofferth, Sandra L.

  • Received : 2015.10.07
  • Accepted : 2015.11.26
  • Published : 2015.12.30


This study examines the effects of time spent with parents and peers on generational differences in children's externalizing behavior problems in immigrant families. Using the Child Development Supplement and Time Diaries from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, we found that first and second generation children exhibited fewer externalizing behavior problems than did third generation children, despite their lower socioeconomic status. First and second generation children spent more time with either one or both parents, and less time with peers, on the weekend day than did third generation children. We found a marginal but beneficial effect of time spent with fathers on the weekday, but not on the weekend day. The implications are that time spent with fathers on weekdays differs from time spent with fathers on the weekend, and that promoting immigrant father involvement on the weekday through school or community programs could benefit immigrant children.


immigrant children;externalizing behavior problems;acculturation;parent and peer time;time diaries


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Supported by : Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health