Hispanic Institute

The Child Trends Hispanic Institute provides timely and insightful research-based information and guidance to policymakers, practitioners, the media, corporate leaders, and private philanthropy who work to improve outcomes for Latino children and youth in the U.S.

Latino children, youth, and families are a large, fast-growing and diverse segment of the U.S. population. Latinos represent 16 percent of our nation’s population and 25 percent of children. For many groups of children in the U.S., there is already significant research to inform the nation’s thinking and guide our investments. This is less true for Hispanic children and youth, and this gap hinders our ability to invest wisely in their development and advance their prospects. The Hispanic Institute seeks to close this gap. Child Trends, alone among the nation’s leading child-study centers, has a platform from which to address some of the most serious challenges and opportunities facing Latino children and families today.

For additional information please contact: hispanicinstitute@childtrends.org.

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our approach to research

The Hispanic Institute’s approach to research is guided by the principles that guide all research at Child Trends:

We take a “whole child” approach: The Hispanic Institute follows the well-being of Latino children from birth to adulthood, across a range of domains and contexts. These include: physical and mental health, socio-emotional development, early learning and school environments, family structure, and economic and immigration status.

We study children in the real world: The Hispanic Institute recognizes the importance of families, schools, communities and beyond in fostering the well-being of children. In order to comprehensively understand the wide-range of circumstances that shape the experiences of Latino children and youth, our research draws from diverse perspectives including developmental psychology, sociology, child welfare, economics, demography, public policy and other specialized fields.

We want children to flourish: The Hispanic Institute keeps an eye towards the positive, focusing on the many strengths of Latino families and children, while also addressing their challenges. These strengths, such as a strong vibrant community, can be leveraged to provide opportunities for responsive and effective policies and programs.

We value objectivity and rigor: We are scientists, first and foremost. Our work is recognized across the ideological spectrum as unbiased and nonpartisan.

We pursue both knowledge development and knowledge transfer: The Hispanic Institute has an applied focus. Our work seeks to examine the most pressing issues facing Hispanic children and families to ensure that policymakers, practitioners, and program providers have the information needed in a timely and accessible way to best serve this population.

We recognize the diversity of Hispanic children and families: Latino children and families in the U.S. are very diverse, reflecting varied political, economic, and social histories. The Hispanic Institute pays close attention to this diversity as manifested in language spoken, ancestry, nativity status, and region of the country in which Hispanic families live.


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