Journal of Community Psychology

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Neighborhood and cultural stressors associated with delinquency in Latino adolescents

Abstract

Research has demonstrated a link between community violence exposure (CVE) and delinquency in adolescence, but little is known about the role of cultural stressors in this relation. This study examined the moderating role of acculturation dissonance and ethnic/racial discrimination in the link between CVE and delinquency engagement in a sample of Latino adolescents. Participants for this study included 134 Latino adolescents (46% males, mean age of 16.14, standard deviation = 1.31) recruited from an urban charter high school located in a large Midwestern city. Findings from hierarchical multiple regression analyses indicated that higher levels of CVE and acculturation dissonance, as well as male gender, were associated with higher levels of delinquency engagement. A significant interaction was also found between CVE and ethnic/racial discrimination. Interaction probing showed that CVE was significantly associated with delinquency engagement at low but not high levels of ethnic/racial discrimination. Findings suggest that it is important to consider multiple types of cultural and neighborhood stressors when assessing and addressing the needs of Latino adolescents.

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