The Influence of Informal Social Control Processes on Drug Trajectories and Delinquent Behavior Among Mexican American Gang Members



Mexican American youth represent one of the fastest growing subpopulations with persons of Mexican origin comprising approximately 65 % of the Hispanic population in the United States (U.S. Census Bureau 2008). Mexican Americans also represent a disproportionate percentage of both substance using and gang populations (Valdez and Sifaneck 2004). In part, this may be due to both a young Mexican American age composition that reflects immigration patterns and an age-graded proclivity towards adolescent substance use and gang membership. In addition, due to socioeconomic disadvantages, Mexican American youth may be at an elevated risk for compromised social bonds and subsequent delinquent behaviors. This chapter employs a life course perspective to examine the extent that adolescent informal social control processes mediate the relationship between gang memberships and adolescent delinquent behavior in a population of young Mexican Americans.


Social Control Delinquent Behavior Gang Member Informal Social Control Harsh Discipline 
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This Research was supported by the National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Drug Abuse, Grants R01DA08604 and R01DA023857.


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Social WorkUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Department SociologyUniversity of KansasLawrenceUSA

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