Herbst, Emily (2013). The likelihood of gang membership: immigrant generational differences among Hispanic youth.
The present study draws on the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health’s (Add Health) Waves I and II to examine self-reported gang membership among Hispanic youths of different immigrant generations in the United States. Although research on gangs has historically assumed immigrants to be more involved in gangs than their native peers, there has been scant research on the individual propensity to gang membership comparing immigrant and non-immigrant youth. The current empirical research integrates prior theory and research from the gang literature and the immigration-crime literature, to examine this relationship as well as potential mediating and moderating factors including family, school, institutional legitimacy, and contextual measures. The results of the current research challenge the previously assumed relationship between immigration and gang membership. The results suggest that more recent Hispanic male immigrants are less likely to join gangs than immigrants who have been in the United States longer and for more generations, predominantly working through one’s level of neighborhood immigrant concentration.
Master of Arts
Bowling Green State University