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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

Preparing Low-Income Latino Children for Kindergarten and Beyond: How Children in Miami’s Publicly-Funded Preschool Programs Fare

Sep 2015 | Michael López; Arya Ansari

To address questions regarding the influence of early care and education programs on Latino children’s early academic development, we analyzed data from the Miami School Readiness Project (MSRP) in Miami-Dade County, Florida, which has a large Latino population. The MSRP represents a unique, large administrative data source that has followed, over time, children who participated in various types of publicly-funded early care and education programs at age four. Two of these programs are the focus of this brief: public school- based pre-K, and center-based programs that accepted child care subsidies. In this brief, we examine how well low-income Latino children who attended these two program types were prepared for kindergarten and how they performed academically by the time they were in third grade.

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Improving Data Infrastructure to Recognize Hispanic Diversity in the United States

Jun 2015 | Elizabeth Wildsmith; Arya Ansari; Lina Guzman

This brief examines 34 commonly used large-scale data sets, identifies which include recommended data elements key to understanding the diversity of the Hispanic population, and suggests steps national surveys should take to improve their description of the characteristics and experiences of Latinos in the United States. We have also developed a companion online data tool that allows users to dig deeper into national surveys and see which include questions about citizenship, literacy, heritage, and more. Access the data tool here: http://www.childtrends.org/nrc/resources/data-tool-unpacking-hispanic-diversity/

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A Guide to Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood Programs for Hispanic Couples and Families

Apr 2015 | Mindy E. Scott; Shelby Hickman; Eliza Brown; Bianca Faccio

To better understand what healthy marriage and relationship education (HMRE) and responsible fatherhood (RF) programs are doing to reach and serve Hispanic families, we conducted an extensive review of programs serving Hispanic couples and fathers. Based upon this review, we developed a program guide summarizing multiple aspects of HMRE and RF programs that target and serve Hispanic populations.

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The Complex and Varied Households of Low-Income Hispanic Children

Jan 2015 | Kimberly Turner; Lina Guzman; Elizabeth Wildsmith; Mindy E. Scott

This research brief examines the household composition of low-income Hispanic children, based on our analyses of recent nationally-representative data. We report on the size and structure of low-income children’s households and the employment status of adult household members. We also explore variation in these patterns by whether the parents were born in the United States or outside it, in light of the unique challenges that immigrant households may face.

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