Ethnic Identity and Offending Trajectories Among Mexican American Juvenile Offenders: Gang Membership and Psychosocial Maturity

George P. Knight, Sandra Losoya, Young Il Cho, Laurie Chassin, Joanna Lee Williams, Sonia Cota-Robles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

We examined the association of joint trajectories of ethnic identity and criminal offending to psychosocial maturity, gang membership, and Mexican American affiliation among 300 Mexican American male juvenile offenders from ages 14 to 22. There were two low-offending groups: one was the highest in ethnic identity and changing slightly with age and the other was the lowest in ethnic identity and stable with age. A third group displayed moderately declining offending and moderately stable ethnic identity. A fourth group displayed high-offending individuals with moderate, but increasing, levels of ethnic identity, who were initially lower in psychosocial maturity and more likely to be gang members. The findings highlight the need to contextualize theories of ethnic identity development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)782-796
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Research on Adolescence
Volume22
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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