The relationship between acculturation and violence in minority adolescents

Paul R. Smokowski, Corinne David-Ferdon, Nancy Stroupe

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Although seminal reviews have been published on acculturation and mental health in adults and adolescents, far less is known about how acculturation influences adolescent interpersonal and self-directed violence. This article aims to fill this gap by providing a comprehensive review of research linking acculturation and violence behavior for adolescents of three minority populations: Latino, Asian/Pacific Islander (A/PI), and American Indian/Alaskan Native (AI/AN). The preponderance of evidence from studies on Latino and A/PI youth indicate that higher levels of adolescent assimilation (i.e., measured by time in the United States, English language use, U.S. cultural involvement, or individualism scales) were a risk factor for youth violence. Ethnic group identity or culture of origin involvement appear to be cultural assets against youth violence with supporting evidence from studies on A/PI youth; however, more studies are needed on Latino and AI/AN youth. Although some evidence shows low acculturation or cultural marginality to be a risk factor for higher levels of fear, victimization, and being bullied, low acculturation also serves as a protective factor against dating violence victimization for Latino youth. An important emerging trend in both the Latino and, to a lesser extent, A/PI youth literature shows that the impact of acculturation processes on youth aggression and violence can be mediated by family dynamics. The literature on acculturation and self-directed violence is extremely limited and has conflicting results across the examined groups, with high acculturation being a risk factor for Latinos, low acculturation being a risk factor of A/PI youth, and acculturation-related variables being unrelated to suicidal behavior among AI/AN youth. Bicultural skills training as a youth violence and suicide prevention practice is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAcculturation
Subtitle of host publicationImplications for Individuals, Families and Societies
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Pages1-45
Number of pages45
ISBN (Print)9781611225259
StatePublished - Dec 1 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)

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    Smokowski, P. R., David-Ferdon, C., & Stroupe, N. (2011). The relationship between acculturation and violence in minority adolescents. In Acculturation: Implications for Individuals, Families and Societies (pp. 1-45). Nova Science Publishers, Inc..