Date of Award

Winter 12-15-2010

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Gabriel P. Kuperminc

Second Advisor

Kelly M. Lewis

Abstract

Quantitative and qualitative data from the 2002 Latino Adolescent Transition Study were used to explore differences in acculturative stress and gang involvement between foreign-born and U.S.-born Latino middle school students. Regression analyses showed significant interactions between discrimination stress and immigration status as well as adaptation stress and immigration status. U.S.-born youths were significantly more likely to be gang-involved if they experienced discrimination stress. They were also less likely to be gang-involved if they experienced high adaptation stress. A minority of primarily foreign-born youths identified economic inequality and prejudicial attitudes as factors that differentiated them from Americans. Those reporting economic inequality were more likely to be gang-involved than those who did not. These findings suggest that the origins of gang involvement could differ between the two immigrant generations. Whereas U.S.-born Latinos may be more negatively affected by discrimination, foreign-born Latinos may be more sensitive to their comparatively low economic status.

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