U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Explaining Latinx Youth Delinquency: A Gendered Test of Latinx General Strain Theory

NCJ Number
Race and Justice Dated: 2021 Pages: 1-27
Date Published
27 pages

This study of Latinx youth delinquency examines the issue through the lens of Latinx general strain theory.


Using data collected from the Dating Violence Among Latino Adolescents (DAVILA) Study, this study investigated whether these ethnic strains influenced delinquency differently based on the respondent's gender in light of a recent scholarly reintroduction of Latinx general strain theory, which suggests that ethnic-specific strains, including acculturation, are driving forces for criminal and delinquent behaviors among the Latinx population. Results indicate that boys engaged in more delinquent behaviors than girls, whereas girls were more acculturated than boys. Depression, anxiety, and social support were more prevalent among girls than among boys. In addition, girls were more likely to be enculturated and perform better in school than boys. Acculturation did not significantly predict delinquency for either boys or girls. In contrast, polyvictimization was the only variable to consistently predict delinquency among boys and girls. Results provided partial support for the hypotheses, in that, while depression and anxiety varied by gender as predicted by the gendered general strain theory, the ethnic-specific strain of acculturation failed to predict delinquent behavior in this sample. Ultimately, this study highlights the need to examine other ethnic-specific strains to better understand delinquent behavior among Latinx youth. (Published Abstract Provided)

Date Published: January 1, 2021