Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp 69–87 | Cite as

The effects of ethnicity and acculturation on early adolescent delinquency

  • Angela H. Fridrich
  • Daniel J. Flannery
Regular Papers


We examined the influence of ethnicity and acculturation status on the relationship between parental monitoring, susceptibility to antisocial peer pressure, and delinquency. The sample consisted primarily of Caucasian (63%) and Mexican-American (24%) early adolescents. Self-report data were collected from 1021 sixth and seventh graders, equally divided by gender (mean age =12.7 years). The Mexican-American adolescents were categorized into one of three acculturation groups: (a) acculturated; (b) unacculturated by choice; and (c) recent immigrants. Acculturated Mexican-American early adolescents reported significantly more delinquent behaviors than the Caucasian, unacculturated by choice, and recent immigrant youth. Recent immigrant early adolescents reported more parental monitoring than the acculturated Mexican-American early adolescents. Level of perceived susceptibility to antisocial peer pressure did not differ between ethnic or acculturation groups. Regression analyses revealed that the relationship between parental monitoring and delinquency was mediated by susceptibility to antisocial peer pressure for all the groups regardless of ethnicity or level of acculturation. Findings emphasize the importance of: (a) examining level of acculturation when sampling ethnically diverse populations; and (b) comparing global mean level differences and specific relationships among independent variables.

Key Words

ethnicity acculturation Mexican-American adolescent delinquency 


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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Angela H. Fridrich
    • 1
  • Daniel J. Flannery
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of Family StudiesUniversity of ArizonaTucson
  2. 2.Department of psychiatry, CaseWestern Reserve UniversityCleveland

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