USC

University of Southern California
Annenberg School for Communication


Research

Research Areas

Families and Children

In our studies of eleven new and old immigrant communities in Los Angeles, we have paid a great deal of attention to the interpersonal networks of local residents.  The most basic and important interpersonal network"the family"is a central focus of our current research in partnership with First 5LA.

In four areas with large Latino populations, we asked if families who communicate more are also more involved in their local community. We developed the Family Interaction Index. We found that higher levels of family interaction go along with higher levels of civic engagement and stronger connections to the neighborhood storytelling network.

In our telephone surveys, focus groups, and field observations, we study how families gather information from their family members, extended interpersonal networks and various media resources to learn about childcare, child rearing, and health care resources in the local area. We also study where families go in the community to have fun, and how often families patronize local businesses and cultural events in the local community.

Another recent aspect of our work has been to study the roles that children of new immigrants play as translators of language, culture, and media for their parents. This research demonstrates the critical roles of children in their family’s solving of everyday life problems, such as relating to health care providers and the schools.


Research Team

- Andrew Schrock

- Holley Wilkin

- Sandra Ball-Rokeach

- Vikki Katz

 


Publications

Books Katz, V.S. (2014). Kids in the Middle: How Children of Immigrants Negotiate Community Interactions for Their Families. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.
Published Papers Katz, V.S. (2010). How children of immigrants use media to connect their families to the community: The case of Latinos in Los Angeles. Journal of Children and Media. 4(3), 298-315. Katz, V.S. (2014). Children as brokers of their immigrant families' healthcare connections. Social Problems, 61(2), 194-215. Loges, W.E. and Jung, Joo-Young (2001). Exploring the Digital Divide: Internet connectedness and age. Communication Research, 28(4), 536-562. Wilkin, H., Katz, V., & Ball-Rokeach, S.J. (2009). How family talk affects community storytelling: The role of family interaction in new immigrant civic engagement. Journal of Communication 59(2), 387-406.
Papers in Preparation Loges, W.E., Qiu, J., & Ball-Rokeach, S.J., Broken bonds at work, broken bonds at home: A theoretical connection. Wilkin, H. A., Katz, V. S., & Ball-Rokeach, S. J. (2009). Community change begins at home: The role of family interaction in new immigrant Latinos' civic engagement. Journal of Communication, 59: 387-406. Wilkin, H. A., Katz, V., & Ball-Rokeach, S. J., Community change begins at home: The role of family interaction on civic engagement outcomes.
Papers Presented at Professional Meetings Katz, V. (2007). Making the connection: What immigrant children do for their families and how it matters. Presentation at the UCLA Migration Symposium, Los Angeles. Katz, V. (2007). Personal technologies for communal purpose: A study of adolescent Latinos and new communication technologies. Paper presented at the National Communication Association Annual Convention, Chicago. Katz, V. (2008). An Active Education: Classroom Participation as an Influence On Inter-group Relations Between Parents. Paper presented at the International Communication Association Conference, Montreal. Katz, V. (2008). Child Translators and media use. Drexel University Conference on Migration and Childhood (Philadelphia, PA) Katz, V. (2008). Connections between intergroup relations, family interaction, and engagement with the schools. ICA Conference. Montreal-Quebec, Canada. Katz, V. (2009). How children mediate connections between home and community: The case of Latinos in South Los Angeles. Top 3 Faculty Paper presented to the International Communication Association Annual Conference. Chicago, IL. Katz, V. S., Wilkin, H. A., & Hether, H. J. (2010, August). Family communication and healthy lifestyle choices: An exploration of family talk among Latinos and African Americans. Paper presented at the 105th American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Atlanta, GA. Katz, V., Wilkin, H., & Hether, H.J. (2010). Does Family Communication Affect Healthy Lifestyle Choices? An Exploration of Family Talk Among Latinos and African Americans. Paper presented at the International Communication Association Conference. Singapore. Katz, V.S. (2011, May). How children of immigrants contribute to family health and community wellness in urban neighborhoods. Presented to the International Communication Association Annual Conference (Boston, MA). Liu, W. (2011 November). Political brokering in the domestic sphere: Examining the role of children in immigrant political socialization and participation. Paper to be presented at the Annual Conference of the National Communication Association, New Orleans, Louisiana. Loges, W. E. and Jung, Joo-Young. (2001). Exploring the digital divide: Internet connectedness and age. Paper presented to the annual conference of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. Washington, D.C. Loges, W. E., Ball-Rokeach, S. J., & Qiu, L. (2005). Broken bonds at work, broken bonds at home: A theoretical connection Paper presented at the 55th Annual Conference of the International Communication Association, New York City. Loges, W.E. and Jung, Joo-Young. (2001). Exploring the digital divide: Internet connectedness and age. Presented to the 51st Annual Conference of the International Communication Association, Washington, D.C. Loges, W.E., Ball-Rokeach, S.J., & Qiu, J.L. (2003). Broken bonds at work, Broken bonds at home: A theoretical connection. Paper presented to the conference "From 9-to-5 to 24/7: How workplace change impact families, work, and communities," Orlando. Qiu, J.L, Ball-Rokeach, S.J., & Li, H.M (2002). The metamorphosis of communicative bonds between work, family, & community in the age of globalization. Paper presented at the National Communication Association Conference, New Orleans. Schrock, A. (2011). Collaboration in Rural First-Generation Immigrant Families: Urban Comparisons, Team Characteristics, and Implications for Knowledge Gap Research. Paper presented at the International Communication Association conference, Boston, MA.
Dissertations Katz, V. (2007). From conversation to conversion: Children's efforts to translate their immigrant families' social networks into community connections.