Language brokering among Latino youth: Moderating variables and youth outcomes

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The children of immigrants often serve as language brokers , or cultural and linguistic intermediaries, between their families and the host culture. Although language brokering is common practice among immigrant communities, it is a growing body of research in need of theoretical grounding and further study. The present study empirically tested a theoretical model of the effects of language brokering with moderating variables, informed by the segmented assimilation literature, among 362 (48% female) Latino adolescents ranging in age from 11 to 18 years ( M  = 13.62, SD =  1.47) utilizing structural equation modeling. Model-testing results indicated that translating in High-Stakes situations negatively affected academic achievement and increased perceived stress, while Everyday translating situations positively affected academic achievement and did not affect stress. Youth who reported higher levels of family obligations also reported higher academic achievement. Implications for theory development and culturally relevant interventions are discussed.

Original languageAmerican English
JournalJournal of Youth and Adolescence
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017


  • Language brokering; Cultural brokering; Latino youth Immigrant families Segmented assimilation


  • Education
  • Student Counseling and Personnel Services

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