Applying an ecological framework, this study used data from the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods to examine the role of parenting and peer relationships on youths’ exposure to community violence (ETV-C) across race/ethnicity and immigrant generational status.
Experiences with neighborhood violence can produce negative consequences in youth, including stress, anxiety, and deviant behavior. Studies report that immigrant and minority youth are more likely to be exposed to violence but less likely to perpetrate it. Similarly, research shows parenting practices are differentially adopted by Blacks, Whites, and Hispanics. Although family management strategies can often act as a barrier to the detrimental effects of exposure to community violence (ETV-C), there is a paucity of investigation on how Hispanic subgroups (e.g., Puerto Rican, Mexican) and immigrant families employ such practices in protecting their children against victimization and violence in the community. The sample in the current study was drawn from cohorts 9, 12, and 15, and was just over 40 percent Hispanic-Latino. The study investigated the differences in, within, and outside the home family management strategies in terms of both race/ethnicity and immigrant generational status. This study also sought to determine the effects of race/ethnicity and immigrant status on youth ETV-C, while examining the influence of family management and peer relations. Results indicate that the adoption of family management practices is not homogeneous across Hispanic subgroups or immigrant generational status, and parenting practices seem to mediate the relationship between these characteristics and exposure to violence. Variations in parenting practices underscore the need to disentangle the cultural plurality of racial/ethnic grouping and how immigrant generational status influences parenting choices that protect children from exposure to violence in the community. (publisher abstract modified)