As immigrant families transition to their new homelands, they often encounter a number of challenges of varying degrees before, during, and after the migratory journey.
These challenges can present a variety of stresses and accumulated traumas to immigrant families. In addition they face the well-recognized acculturative challenges of learning the ways of a new land. While adults (e.g., parents and caretakers) are slower to negotiate these changes, children and youth long to belong and are quick studies which may lead to varying degrees of acculturative stress (see, Bornstein, 2017).
Despite these challenges, a resilience perspective considers the many ways in which immigrant children and youth demonstrate resilience. Indeed, there is evidence that immigrant origin children and youth demonstrate advantages in some domains while struggling in others. A pattern termed the “immigrant paradox” (see Marks, Ejesi, & García Coll, 2014) has pointed to a puzzling general trend–while immigrants often reside in the least resourced neighborhoods with less than optimal schools, nonetheless newcomers tend to demonstrate better health outcomes, demonstrate lower levels of participation in acts of delinquency, and have better grades than their more acculturated peers. There are nuanced and complex variations in this data, however, depending upon what outcomes are measured, how they are measured, for what groups, and in which contexts (see Marks, Ejesi, & García Coll, 2014; Suárez-Orozco, Abo-Zena, & Marks, 2015).