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New Immigrant Hispanic Population: An Integrated Approach to Preventing Delinquency and Crime

NCJ Number
Date Published
May 1996
3 pages
Publication Series
This study of Puerto Rican boys in New York City revealed that some of the same factors associated with delinquency in the mainstream population -- family, peers, and attitudes toward deviance -- also can be used to analyze this group, with some of the same effects.
The study involved three methods of analysis. Socioeconomic analysis focused on the mechanism by which integration into economic and political structures occurs. Psychosocial analysis addressed how cognitive skills, affective balance, social capital, and a sense of identity develop. Further, social science theories were applied to the Hispanic experience to examine how problem behaviors as well as mental health problems develop. The traditional Hispanic family culture apparently deters delinquency, and absorption into mainstream culture appears to be associated with more, not less, delinquency. Adolescents who are not in the labor force are less likely to become involved in criminal behavior than those who hold jobs. Being in school was not found to be associated with delinquency, creating a possible argument in favor of programs that focus on learning skills and convincing adolescents to stay in school.

Date Published: May 1, 1996