This article examines how the detention or deportation of a parent shapes the roles and responsibilities of young adults within the household and the consequences that these changes have on their educational experiences. Drawing from thirty-two in-depth interviews with young adults living in the United States whose parent was detained, author Carolina Valdivia finds that children’s responsibilities within the family abruptly change as soon as a parent is apprehended, with conditions worsening as the parent undergoes deportation proceedings. More specifically, young adults take on additional and a wider range of responsibilities to help their families cope emotionally and financially, including working additional jobs and spending more time taking care of younger siblings. The article also demonstrates how young adults’ gender, birth order, and level of education at the time of a parent’s immigration arrest shape their participation at home and notes how increased responsibilities affect their educational trajectories.

This content is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.