Date of Conferral





Human Services


Gregory P. Hickman


Issues such as the rapid growth of the immigrant youth population and delinquency among adolescents generate public safety concerns among the U.S. population. However, delinquency intervention strategies for immigrant youth in the United States remain scant, which is problematic because these youth face acculturative challenges that increase their risk for maladaptive outcomes. This quantitative, cross-sectional study addressed a research gap regarding the differential influence of risk factors in predicting delinquency across 3 generational statuses. The theoretical framework guiding the study consisted of acculturation theory, the immigrant paradox, and differential association theory. Two research questions were evaluated using a stratified random sample of 255 U.S. adolescents from the Second International Self-Reported Delinquency Study Dataset. The bivariate correlation analyses show that delinquency was significantly related to self-control, neighborhood disorganization, and delinquent peers for the total adolescent sample, and family bonding and school climate at the generational status level. The multiple regression analyses show that delinquency was best predicted by self-control for first-generation immigrants, by neighborhood disorganization, school climate, and delinquent peers for second-generation immigrants, and by self-control, family bonding, and delinquent peers for native-born youth. The results demonstrate that immigrant and native-born youth have unique adaptive and developmental processes that impact their delinquency. By increasing knowledge of delinquency risk factors, the study findings may help advocates address public safety concerns, enhance the cultural responsiveness of interventions, and, ultimately, improve youths' behavioral outcomes.