Strength or Strain: A Discussion on the Impacts of Child Language Brokering

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date



College of Arts and Sciences



Faculty Sponsor

April S. Masarik


In 2010, the U. S. Census Bureau reported that over 40 million individuals (13% of the population) are foreign-born and 42% of these individuals report difficulty speaking English (Akam & Lazarevic, 2016; Greico et al., 2012). Parents often rely on children as brokers to interpret cultural and linguistic messages, and research is mixed on effects of brokering on the family unit (Akam & Lazarevic, 2016; Deng & Marlowe, 2013). Some researchers suggest that brokering can strengthen the parent-child relationship, promote self-efficacy, and improve academic performance. Other researchers state that brokering may promote anxiety, diminish confidence, and strain the family unit (Akam & Lazarevic, 2016; Greico et al., 2012; Lewig & Salveron, 2010; Renzaho & Vignjevic, 2011; Santino, Deng & Marlowe, 2013). In this presentation, we use the Conceptual Model of Primary Perspectives on Brokering to situate existing empirical research and discuss the perceived strengths and strains (Akam & Lazarevic, 2016).

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