Personal and interpersonal mediators linking acculturation stress to aggressive behavior in latino adolescents

Paul Richard Smokowski, Rachel Lee Buchanan, Martica Bacallao

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter discusses a study that we conducted to examine pathways that lead to aggressive behavior in Latino adolescents. Adolescent mental health, risk-taking, family environment, and friendships with peers were investigated as potential mediators linking acculturation stress to adolescent aggression. Path analyses were conducted using data collected at 3 time points from a sample of 286 adolescents, 66% of whom were born outside of the United States. Our findings indicated that acculturation stressors, rather than assimilation measures, were associated with baseline aggression, Time 2 parent-adolescent conflict, and Time 2 adolescent substance use. We trace mediation pathways through internalizing problems, parent-adolescent conflict, negative friend associations, and adolescent substance use to incidence of aggressive behavior 6 months later. Findings show involvement in Latino culture is an asset positively connected to familism and self-esteem, and ultimately leads to lower levels of adolescent aggression. The discussion includes implications for practice and study limitations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationYouth Violence and Juvenile Justice
Subtitle of host publicationCauses, Intervention and Treatment Programs
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)9781616680114
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Acculturation
  • Culture.
  • Depression
  • Immigrants
  • Internalizing problems
  • Latinos

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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