Acculturation and enculturation trajectories among mexican-american adolescent offenders

George P. Knight, Delfino Vargas-Chanes, Sandra Losoya, Sonia Cota-Robles, Laurie Chassin, Joanna M. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


This study examines changes over time in ethnic affirmation-belonging and ethnic identity achievement, Spanish language use, English language use, Mexican-Mexican-American affiliation-identification and Anglo affiliation-identification in a sample of Mexican-American adolescents participating in a longitudinal study of juvenile offenders. The Multigroup Ethnic Identity Measure and the Acculturation Rating Scale for Mexican Americans-II were completed by the Mexican-American adolescents 7 times over a 3-year period. The findings from longitudinal growth modeling analyses and growth mixture modeling analyses indicate that there is heterogeneity in the initial scores and changes over time on these variables that are related to markers for the cultural qualities of the home environment (i.e., generational status and mother's most frequent language use). In contrast to expectations, marginalized or assimilated acculturation trajectories-types were not overrepresented in this sample of adolescent offenders. Implications for our understanding of the nature of acculturation and enculturation processes and the way these processes are studied are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)625-653
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of Research on Adolescence
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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