1.5-generation immigrant adolescents’ autonomy negotiations in transnational family contexts


  • Elina Turjanmaa University of Helsinki
  • Anne Alitolppa-Niitamo Ministry of Employment and the Economy
  • Inga Jasinskaja-Lahti




immigrant adolescents, transnational adolescents, 1.5 generation, intergenerational relations, autonomy


This study explored how 1.5-generation immigrant adolescents negotiate their autonomy with their parents in a new cultural context. The studied adolescents are immigrants with African, Middle Eastern, Southern Asian, and EU/FSU background in Finland. The study is built on the ecological framework, which looks at development within the context of social systems. The study combines perspectives of cross-cultural psychology, acculturation research, and developmental psychology to explore autonomy in a transnational developmental context. The data consists of 80 semi-structured interviews with immigrant adolescents aged 13 to 18. Our results suggest that adolescents’ autonomy is negotiated within local family circumstances, while the transnational context becomes particularly crucial in the negotiation categories of peer relations and cultural continuity. Cultural differences in using different negotiation categories are discussed.


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Author Biographies

Elina Turjanmaa, University of Helsinki

Elina Turjanmaa (M.Soc.Sc) is a Ph.D. student in the University of Helsinki, Department of Social Research. Her dissertation concerns intergenerational relations in immigrant families.

Anne Alitolppa-Niitamo, Ministry of Employment and the Economy

Dr Anne Alitolppa-Niitamo (Ph.D. Anthropology & MA Psychology) is a special expert on migrant integration issues at the Ministry of Employment and the Economy, Finland. Her research interests include intercultural education, parenting in immigrant families and family acculturation.

Inga Jasinskaja-Lahti

Inga Jasinskaja-Lahti is a Professor of Social Psychology at the Department of Social Research at the University of Helsinki. Her main research interests include intergroup relations, racism and discrimination, and the acculturation and adaptation of immigrants. She is an Associate Editor of the International Journal of Intercultural Relations as well as a member of the editorial boards and a reviewer of several international journals in the field.




How to Cite

Turjanmaa, E., Alitolppa-Niitamo, A., & Jasinskaja-Lahti, I. (2017). 1.5-generation immigrant adolescents’ autonomy negotiations in transnational family contexts. Migration Letters, 14(1), 75–87. https://doi.org/10.59670/ml.v14i1.317