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Title:Intergenerational family dynamics and leisure among second-generation Mexican-American youth
Author(s):Camarillo, Leslie Nicole
Advisor(s):Stodolska, Monika; Berdychevsky, Liza
Department / Program:Recreation, Sport and Tourism
Discipline:Recreation, Sport, and Tourism
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Intergenerational Dynamics
Mexican-American Families
Mexican Families
Second-Generation Youth
First-Generation Adults
Family Leisure
Immigrant Youth
Children Motivations
Parental Motivations
Family Systems Theory
Socioeconomic status
Negotiation Strategies
Active Leisure
Children Perspectives
Adult Perspectives
Cultural Values
Working Class Families
Minority Families
Abstract:The Latino population in the U.S. is growing, and about one-third of Latinos are younger than 18. Research on Latino youth’s leisure is underdeveloped, with the existing studies focusing primarily on the development of their identity and a sense of belonging. The goal of the study was to examine leisure activities among second-generation Mexican-American youth ages 11-15 that take place within and outside of the low-income communities in which they reside. Specifically, the study explored 1) how residence in low-income communities conditions leisure activities among Mexican-American youth and the effects of parental negotiation of neighborhood constraints on children’s leisure participation, and (2) the involvement in leisure among Mexican-American youth outside of their neighborhoods of residence. The focus of the study was primarily on the passive leisure that takes place within the confines of the low-income neighborhoods and the active leisure participation in parks, schools, and sports complexes outside of the children’s neighborhoods of residence. The study was guided by the tenets of family systems theory. Semi-structured individual interviews were conducted with four Mexican-American families (mother, father, and child) and two single-mother families (mother and child) in California. The findings revealed that the most important factors that influenced children’s leisure participation in their communities were safety and space limitations. These features led to parents’ imposing restrictions on their children’s leisure and adopting coping and negotiation strategies which led to children engaging mostly in passive forms of leisure. Moreover, family circumstances such as lack of time, concerns about driving due to undocumented status, and culturally-based preference for children to remain in close proximity ii to the house led to children spending most of their free time on mainstream American, passive activities (watching TV, playing videogames, hanging out) in the confines of their homes. Children were engaged in physical activity (e.g., soccer, American football, rugby) mainly in parks, as part of the Latino leagues, and through their school programs. Children’s motivations for involvement in active leisure included wanting to have fun, socialization / spending time with friends, to relieve boredom, and to become professional or famous athletes. Parents’ motivations for enrolling their children in active leisure included wanting to keep them healthy, away from harm, and expose them to opportunities for advancement (i.e., getting recruited to professional leagues, college scholarships). Parents faced a number of constraints that affected their ability to facilitate youth’s active leisure. Some of the constraints included the legality of status and related traveling restrictions, affordability / financial issues, tiredness, and lack of information related to the language barrier. The findings of the study are discussed in the context of the literature on youth and leisure and family leisure. Moreover, the effects of cultural factors, immigration status, and economic vulnerability on leisure behavior among the interviewed second-generation Mexican-American youth are explicated.
Issue Date:2018-04-26
Rights Information:Copyright 2018 Leslie Camarillo
Date Available in IDEALS:2018-09-04
Date Deposited:2018-05

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