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Who Are We? Parental Influences on Self-identities and Self-esteem of Second Generation Youths in Spain


  • Alejandro Portes

    (University of Miami & Princeton University)

  • Adrienne Celaya

    (University of Miami)

  • Erik Vickstrom

    (Princeton University)

  • Rosa Aparicio

    (Instituto Universitario Ortega y Gassett)


We review the literature on determinants of ethnic/national self-identities and self-esteem as a prelude to examining these outcomes among a large, statistically representative sample of second generation adolescents in Madrid and Barcelona. While these psycho-social outcomes are malleable, they still represent important dimensions of immigrant adaptation and can have significant consequences both for individual mobility and collective mobilizations. Current theories are largely based on data from the United States and other Anglophone countries. The availability of a new large Spanish survey allows us to test those theories in an entirely different socio-cultural context. In addition to having data on close to seven thousand second generation youths, the study includes a survey of the parents, allowing us to examine directly how parental factors affect adolescent psycho-social outcomes. Theoretical and practical implications of results are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Alejandro Portes & Adrienne Celaya & Erik Vickstrom & Rosa Aparicio, 2011. "Who Are We? Parental Influences on Self-identities and Self-esteem of Second Generation Youths in Spain," Working Papers 1345, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Migration and Development..
  • Handle: RePEc:pri:cmgdev:wp1102ewhoarewecorrectedsept2011.pdf

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    National-identity; self-esteem; selective acculturation; dissonant acculturation; Spain;

    JEL classification:

    • D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General
    • I39 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Other
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education


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