In This Article Expand or collapse the "in this article" section Hispanic Childhoods (U.S.)

  • Introduction
  • General Overviews
  • Journals
  • Reference Resources
  • Family
  • Latino Cultural Values
  • Health
  • Latino Sociology
  • Language
  • Language and Test Results
  • Poverty

Childhood Studies Hispanic Childhoods (U.S.)
Alejandro E. Brice
  • LAST REVIEWED: 28 April 2017
  • LAST MODIFIED: 22 August 2023
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199791231-0101


Hispanics or Latinos are the largest minority in the United States. Hispanic children make up 34.5 percent of the Hispanic population under nineteen years of age. The Latino and Hispanic student population growth between 1996 to 2016 increased from 8.8 million to 17.9 million students. The United States has been and continues to undergo a language and cultural shift as a result of changing demographics. Hispanic births from Mexican American parents have overtaken Mexican immigration. The largest concentration of Hispanics consists of Mexicans, Puerto-Ricans, Salvadorans, Cubans, Dominicans, and others. Consequently, multiple factors today are affecting Hispanic children (immigration, US births, education, socio-economic status, culture, upbringing, etc.). Therefore, information regarding Hispanic childhoods is of great concern for all professionals who serve this population. Hispanic or Latino children in the United States experience difficulties that are unique and different from white children, African American (i.e., or Black children), other ethnically diverse children, and mostly children from middle socioeconomic status (SES) backgrounds in the United States. These differences arise from childcare differences, family and cultural differences, health related issues, language differences, poverty issues, and factors associated with schools and classrooms. It cannot be stressed enough that all of these inter-related factors contribute to Hispanic Childhoods in the United States.

General Overviews

Most professionals agree that childhood covers all aspects of speech, language, cognitive, physical, emotional, cultural, emotional, and social development of children. Hispanics or Latinos are a heterogeneous collection of individuals from various cultures and diverse backgrounds. When speaking of Hispanic Childhoods, this becomes an assortment of multiple and intertwining factors (language, childcare, family, health, socioeconomics, schooling and education, culture, societal, and other factors).

  • Brice, A. The Hispanic Child: Speech, Language, Culture and Education. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 2002.

    Brice approaches this issue from the perspectives of speech, language, and culture. Brice addresses Hispanic childhoods through language, development, education, and sociocultural factors that affect Hispanic children. The textbook is a resource for teachers, special education teachers, speech-language pathologists, and other professionals in school settings. This book addresses the struggles of Hispanic children in the United States. The book offers practical suggestions in the form of “best practices.”

  • Calderon, M., and R. E. Slavin. Effective Programs for Latino Students. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum, 2001.

    DOI: 10.4324/9781410605627

    This book presents the current state with respect to research on effective instructional programs for Latino students in elementary and secondary grades. Research is reviewed based on program outcomes designed for academic achievement.

  • de la Garza, R., and A. Yang. “Latino Demographic Transformation.” In Americanizing Latino Politics, Latinoizing American Politics. By A. Yang and R. de la Garza, 8–28. New York and Abingdon, UK: Routledge, 2020.

    DOI: 10.4324/9781351054669-2

    Hispanics and Latinos have concentrated in certain areas of the United States, such as the southern border with Mexico, the Northeast, Florida, California, and Texas. However, Hispanics are a heterogenous community with many different Latino communities across the United States. Mexican Americans tend to reside in the American Southwest. De la Garza and Yang document the Chicano movement from the 1960s and 1970s and how this movement helped institutionalize Mexican culture, language, and heritage.

  • Delgado-Gaitan, C. Involving Latino Families in Schools: Raising Achievement through Home-School Partnerships. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin, 2004.

    Concha Delgado-Gaitan is an award winning qualitative, ethnographic researcher. The foundation for this book comes from her experience as a schoolteacher and principal. Her work has involved family and community literacy. This book offers activities, case examples, and vignettes for parental participation programs that will benefit classroom instruction for Latino students. Delgado-Gaitan 2004 approaches literacy from Latino families, classrooms, family and school participation, involvement programs, and community partnerships.

  • González, D. J., and S. Oboler. The Oxford Encyclopedia of Latinos & Latinas in the United States. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005.

    The Oxford Encyclopedia of Latinos & Latinas in the United States is a comprehensive guide to the Latinx population. Contemporary experiences and knowledge from Latinos/Latinas from Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Central America, South America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East are represented. Over nine hundred chapters are presented.

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