Navigating between cultures: The role of culture in youth violence

Department of Human Development, California State University, San Marcos, San Marcos, California, United States
Journal of Adolescent Health (Impact Factor: 3.61). 04/2004; 34(3):169-76. DOI: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2003.07.015
Source: PubMed


The purpose of this paper is to review three cultural concepts (acculturation, ethnic identity, bicultural self-efficacy) and their relationship to the known risk and protective factors associated with youth violence. We conducted a review of the relevant literature that addresses these three cultural concepts and the relationship among culture, violent behavior, and associated cognition. The available literature suggests that ethnic identity and bicultural self-efficacy can be best thought of as protective factors, whereas acculturation can be a potential risk factor for youth violence. We examine the connection between these cultural concepts and the risk and protective factors described in the 2001 Surgeon General's Report on Youth Violence, and present a summary table with cultural risk and protective factors for violence prevention. These concepts can assist physicians in identifying risk and protective factors for youth violence when working with multicultural adolescents and their families. Physicians are more effective at providing appropriate referrals if they are aware that navigating among different cultures influences adolescent behavior.

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    • "In a review of studies of the relations between acculturation and interpersonal and self-directed violence among adolescents from minority groups in the United States, Smokowski et al [6] identified a link between assimilation and youth violence, as violence was most prevalent among youths who were disconnected from their culture. This finding is consistent with evidence that acculturation is a risk factor for aggression [2] and that strong ethnic identity is a protective factor [7]. Among the various groups, Smokowski et al [6] found that American Indian and Alaskan Native adolescents were at higher statistical risk for various types of aggression when compared with other minority groups. "
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    ABSTRACT: Minority youth in general, and Aboriginal youth in particular, are at increased statistical risk for being perpetrators or victims of aggression. We examined the potential protective aspect of cultural identity in relation to peer ratings of physical and relational aggression and factors typically associated with each among almost the entire cohort of Naskapi youths from Kawawachikamach, Qu├ębec. Hierarchical multiple regressions revealed that a strong identity with their own Native culture predicted less perceived physical and social aggression by their peers. These findings are discussed in the context of the role of a positive affiliation with ancestral culture for the diminishment of adolescent aggression and for general adaptive development and well-being.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2011 · Journal of Adolescent Health
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    • "Although operating in different cultures may result in bicultural stress if there are clashing values and self-concepts across those cultures (Smith, 1989), Berry (1998) argued that bicultural individuals may benefit from operating in and valuing both cultures rather than choosing one or the other. The positive benefit of a bicultural self for African Americans is supported in research (Bell, 1990; Soriano et al., 2004). "
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    ABSTRACT: Scholarship is emerging on intervention models that purposefully attend to cultural variables throughout the career assessment and career counseling process (Swanson & Fouad, in press). One heuristic model that offers promise to advance culturally-relevant vocational practice with African Americans is the Outline for Cultural Formulation (American Psychiatric Association, 1994). This article explicates the Outline for Cultural Formulation in career assessment and career counseling with African Americans integrating the concept of cultural identity into the entire model. The article concludes with an illustration of the Outline for Cultural Formulation model with an African American career client.
    Preview · Article · Jun 2010 · Journal of Career Development
    • "Maintaining ties to both cultures (i.e., biculturalism or bicultural self-efficacy) have also been associated with better psychological adjustment (e.g., Bankston & Zhou, 1995; LaFromboise, Coleman, & Getton, 1993). Bicultural self-efficacy refers to having the competency, skills, and ability to communicate and adjust to roles in two or more cultures (LaFromboise et al., 1993; Soriano, Rivera, Williams, Daley, & Reznik, 2004). With respect to delinquent behavior and violence, although studies with Black youth have generally found a negative relationship between ethnic identity and maladaptive behavior (i.e., positive identity with one culture has been found to protect against delinquency; e.g., Arbona, Jackson, McCoy, & Blakely, 1999; McMahon & Watts, 2002), studies with immigrant youth, particularly Latino youth, have yielded more mixed and complex findings (e.g., Arbona et al., 1999). "
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    ABSTRACT: Studies suggest that the process of acculturation for immigrant youth, particularly for second-generation youth, is significantly associated with delinquency and violence. This study explored the acculturation-violence link with respect to acculturative dissonance and ethnic identity. The results revealed in a sample of 329 Chinese, Cambodian, Mien/Laotian, and Vietnamese youth that acculturative dissonance was significantly predictive of serious violence, with full mediation through peer delinquency. Ethnic identity was not significantly associated with peer delinquency or serious violence. Although acculturative dissonance and ethnic identity accounted for a small percentage of variance in violence compared with peer delinquency, it cannot be discounted as trivial. Structural equation analyses provided support for both measurement and structural invariance across the four ethnic groups, lending support for cross-cultural comparisons. The results also lend support for the inclusion of cultural factors in youth violence prevention and intervention efforts.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2008 · Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology
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