When Latino children immigrate to the United States, they encounter challenges and opportunities associated with immigration (Alba & Foner, 2015; Arbona et al., 2010). Although there were nearly 2.5 million foreign-born children living in the United States in 2016 (U.S. CensusBureau, 2016), little is known about these children’s perspectives on immigration, particularly their perspectives on homesickness. The current research study investigated Latino immigrant children’s perspectives on homesickness and bilingual picture books containing stories of homesick Latino immigrant children. The children’s experiences were compared with current theories ofacculturative stress.Through semi-structured interviews using the hermeneutic method, the researchers interviewed 12 Latino children, aged 8-12, who immigrated to the United States within the current school year. Contributions to homesickness included missing family, friends, and the familiarity of their home countries as well as difficulty learning English. The children reported feeling safer in the United States and recognized greater opportunities for their future because of immigration. Subjects identified with the books in which characters’ experiences were similar to their own. Like current theories of acculturative stress, the children have found relief in homesickness through socialsupport.It is recommended that future mental health practitioners and educators working with Latino immigrant children help them recognize and express their feelings about immigration, provide reassurance, and tailor response strategies to the needs of each individual child. Additional research is needed to better understand Latino immigrant children’s perspectives on homesickness and other challenges and opportunities that accompany immigration.
College and Department
David O. McKay School of Education; Counseling Psychology and Special Education
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Thorpe, Kelly Beus, "Latino Immigrant Children’s Perspectives on Homesickness in Bilingual Picture Books" (2019). Theses and Dissertations. 8541.
homesickness, immigration, bibliotherapy, acculturative stress