Original Article

Child Psychiatry and Human Development

, Volume 40, Issue 4, pp 589-608

First online:

Acculturation and Aggression in Latino Adolescents: Modeling Longitudinal Trajectories from the Latino Acculturation and Health Project

  • Paul Richard SmokowskiAffiliated withSchool of Social Work, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Email author 
  • , Roderick A. RoseAffiliated withSchool of Social Work, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • , Martica BacallaoAffiliated withDepartment of Social Work, University of North Carolina – Greensboro

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This study examines how multiple indicators of adolescent and parent acculturation relate to longitudinal trajectories of Latino adolescent aggression. The hierarchical linear modeling analysis is based on a final sample of 256 adolescents paired with one parent. Of the adolescents, 66% were born outside of the United States and the remaining 34% were US-born. Families lived in two sites: 38% lived in North Carolina and 62% lived in Arizona. The overall trajectory of Latino adolescent aggression displays a statistically significant negative trend best characterized by a quadratic curve. We delineate significant risk factors related to aggression levels, and show that gender, age, parent-reported acculturation conflicts, and adolescent-reported parent-adolescent conflicts are associated with higher levels of adolescent aggression. We discuss the study limitations, implications of the findings, and fertile ground for future research.


Latinos Adolescents Aggression Externalizing conduct problems Immigrants Acculturation Culture