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[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Relationship between cultural syndromes and delinquency across four Asian ethnic groups

Thao Le, MPH, MA, Research, National Council on Crime and Delinquency, 1970 Broadway, Suite 500, Oakland, CA 94612, 510.208.0500 ext.340, tle@sf.nccd-crc.org

Studies on risk and protective factors for delinquency have primarily focused on individual, peer, school, or family factors. Few studies have examined the role of culture, specifically cultural values and beliefs, in influencing youth delinquency. Among college students, Sweeny (2000) explored the relation between indicators of cultural syndromes and shoplifting and found that students scoring higher on characteristics correlated with vertical individualism, such as power and achievement, were more likely to report shoplifting than those scoring higher in collectivistic related characteristics. The aim of this study was to explore the relation between cultural syndromes and delinquency across four different Asian ethnic groups. The sample included Cambodian (n=110), Chinese (n=41), Lao/Mien (n=66), and Vietnamese (n=65) youth. Participants were recruited from two schools in Oakland and community-based agencies serving Asian ethnic groups. Youth were administered a face-to-face interview and resulting data were analyzed using correlation and regression analyses. Bivariate correlation analysis revealed a significant positive correlation between individualism, both horizontal (r=.165, p<.01) and vertical (r=.245, p<.01) and delinquency, and no relation for collectivism. Separate analyses within group and across different types of delinquency also showed a stronger significant correlation between vertical individualism and street crime across all groups (r=.251.410, p>.01,). Mediators were also explored in the vertical individualism-delinquency link and included attitudes toward delinquency and self-report individual strengths and assets. The results suggest that culture is an important consideration in discussing delinquency. Specifically, the form of individualism that emphasizes power, status, and competition may promote certain forms of maladaptive behavior.

Learning Objectives:

  • At the end of the session, participants will be able to

    Keywords: Adolescents, Asian Americans

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    Presenting author's disclosure statement:
    I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

    [ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

    Methodological and Theoretical Innovations Advancing the Health of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

    The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA