Burdened or Efficacious? Subgroups of Chinese American Language Brokers, Predictors, and Long-Term Outcomes




Shen, Yishan
Kim, Su Yeong
Benner, Aprile D.

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Despite growing research on youth language brokering in immigrant families, evidence regarding its developmental outcomes remains mixed. This study took a person-centered approach, exploring subgroups of language brokers and identifying predictors and long-term outcomes of the subgroup membership. Participants were Chinese American adolescents (N = 350 at Time 1; M<sub>age</sub> = 17.04; SD = 0.72; 59% female) followed over two waves spaced four years apart (longitudinal N = 291). Two distinct subgroups of adolescent language brokers were identified using latent profile analyses on language brokering feelings: efficacious and burdened brokers. Adolescents proficient in both English and Chinese were more likely to be efficacious brokers. Furthermore, burdened brokers reported higher parent-child alienation, and in turn, more depressive symptoms in emerging adulthood, compared to efficacious brokers and non-language-brokers. The current findings inform future interventions that burdened language brokers may be most at risk and that improving parent-child relationships may be one way to promote the well-being of young brokers.



Chinese American, emerging adulthood, language brokering, adolescence, Family and Consumer Sciences


Shen, Y., Kim, S. Y., & Benner, A. D. (2019). Burdened or efficacious? Subgroups of Chinese American language brokers, predictors, and long-term outcomes. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 48(1), pp. 154-169.


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