Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 47, Issue 10, pp 2243–2260 | Cite as

Ethnic Cultural Features in Organized Activities: Relations to Latino Adolescents’ Activity Experiences and Parental Involvement

  • Yangyang LiuEmail author
  • Sandra D. Simpkins
  • Alex R. Lin
Empirical Research


Cultural responsiveness is a key aspect of the quality of organized activities, yet has rarely been examined. Based on developmental theories and a theoretical framework for culturally responsive activities, the current study investigated the prevalence and correlates of two ethnic cultural features (i.e., ethnic cultural content & ethnic cultural respect) in organized activities. Using data from 154 Latino adolescents (Mage = 12.36, SD = .53; 59% Female) and parents, we examined associations between adolescent perceptions of both ethnic cultural features and their activity experiences; and associations between parent perceptions of both ethnic cultural features and parental involvement in the activity. Latino adolescents and parents in general perceived lower than average ethnic cultural content and moderate to high ethnic cultural respect in the reported activity. Both adolescents and parents were more likely to perceive ethnic cultural content and respect in activities where Latino youth were the numerical ethnic majority than in activities where Latino youth were the numerical ethnic minority. Latino adolescents’ perceptions of ethnic cultural respect were associated with more positive activity experiences, whereas their perceptions of ethnic cultural content were associated with more negative feelings. Latino parents’ perceptions of ethnic cultural content predicted higher involvement. To design culturally responsive activities, ethnic cultural features should be incorporated in a thoughtful, meaningful way that reflects both adolescents’ and parents’ perspectives.


Organized activities After-school activities Latino Culturally responsive Engagement Parental involvement 



The authors would like to acknowledge Drs. Jacquelynne S. Eccles, Gilberto Conchas, and Deborah Vandell for their invaluable feedback on the earlier drafts of the manuscript.

Authors’ Contributions

Y.L. conceived of the study, carried out data analysis, and drafted the manuscript; S.S. helped conceptualize and design the study, interpreted the results, and contributed to writing of the manuscript. A.L. helped with data analysis. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.


The current study was supported by a grant from the William T. Grant Foundation (181735).

Data Sharing Declaration

This manuscript’s data will not be deposited but are available from the research team on reasonable request.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures adhered to the APA and the institutional IRB ethical standards and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained for all participants in the study.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EducationUniversity of California, IrvineIrvineUSA
  2. 2.Department of Liberal StudiesVanguard UniversityCosta MesaUSA

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