Online Communication Patterns of Chinese and Mexican Adolescents Living in the United States

Drew P. Cingel, Alexis R Lauricella, Wan Shun Eva Lam, Ellen Wartella, P. Zitlali Morales


Research on adolescent Internet use and communication does not often consider immigrants or children of immigrants and thus remains relatively mute on the ways in which these groups use the Internet to engage in transnational communication. This comes despite the growth in immigrants around the world over the past two decades. Therefore, this study seeks to understand the Internet use and online communication behaviors of two large minority populations living in the United States: adolescents of Chinese and Mexican descent. Results from survey data (N = 292) indicate that the transnational communication of Chinese and Mexican youth with friends and family both within and outside the United States, as well as their perceptions of online social connectedness, varies by ethnicity and length of time spent living in the United States. These results have implications for understanding the ways in which the Internet provides unique benefits for immigrant adolescents and children of immigrants.


adolescents, migration, ethnicity, Internet, online communication, social connectedness

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