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Latino Children and Families

Latino children, youth, and families are a large, fast-growing, diverse – and largely understudied — segment of the U.S. population. Latinos represent 16 percent of our nation’s population and 25 percent of our public elementary students. Child Trends explores an array of topics focusing on Latino children and families, including teen pregnancy and other aspects of reproductive health; early childhood development; positive youth development; family formation; effective programs; and indicators related to child well-being. We provide a range of research services from literature reviews, survey design, data analysis, evaluation, and qualitative research.

To help inform how programs and policy can better serve Hispanic children and families, Child Trends and Abt Associates are pleased to announce the National Research Center on Hispanic Children & Families, funded by the Office of Planning, Research & Evaluation, Administration of Children & Families. The Center is made up of a strong team of national experts in Hispanic issues, and is a hub of research to improve the lives of Hispanics across three priority areas: poverty reduction and self-sufficiency, healthy marriage and responsible fatherhood, and early care and education. Read more about the Center and its Summer Research Fellowship Program.

Featured Publications

Math Scores Add Up for Hispanic Students: States and School Districts Notable for Recent Gains by Hispanic Students in Mathematics

Nov 2014 | Natalia Pane

This report shows significant gains in math achievement by Hispanic fourth- and eighth-graders across the nation—the equivalent of one grade level in the last ten years (2003-3013). Using data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, Child Trends reviewed and compared fourth and eighth grade math scores in the nation, states, large cities, and select school districts. The report highlights those regions with top scores and the largest increases.

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Family Structure and Family Formation among Low-Income Hispanics in the U.S.

Oct 2014 | Elizabeth Wildsmith; Mindy Scott; Lina Guzman; Elizabeth Cook

This research brief, from the National Research Center on Hispanic Children and Families, provides a national portrait of low-income Hispanic families in the U.S. Having a better understanding of these families will help programs and policymakers in their efforts to assist these families. We use recent nationally-representative data to describe the relationship and childbearing histories of low-income Hispanic men and women aged 15 to 44. Importantly, we distinguish by nativity—i.e., born in the U.S. versus in some other country—as family formation patterns vary greatly by nativity, and these differences are obscured when Hispanics are examined as a whole.

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Culture Counts: Engaging Black and Latino Parents of Young Children in Family Support Programs (Report)

Oct 2014 | Shannon Moodie; Manica Ramos

This report provides an overview of family support programs and aims to identify the features and strategies that may be most effective for reaching and engaging black and Latino families, with the ultimate goal of supporting young children’s development. The report presents a synthesis of available research on parent engagement—as well as potential barriers to their engagement—in family support services and programs, and recommendations, for both policymakers and practitioners, for designing, adapting, and evaluating culturally-relevant family support programs and services.

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America's Hispanic Children: Gaining Ground, Looking Forward

Sep 2014 | David A. Murphey; Lina Guzman; Alicia Torres

This report presents a rich and nuanced statistical portrait of America’s Latino children, drawn from the latest nationally-representative data. It is a complex picture. Some facets will be familiar, while others are less well known. All have important economic and social implications, particularly with respect to education as the pathway to fulfilling aspirations and to full participation in the life of the nation.

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