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Parental Suicidality as a Risk Factor for Delinquency Among Hispanic Youth

NCJ Number
Journal of Youth and Adolescence Volume: 39 Issue: 3 Dated: March 2010 Pages: 315-325
Wesley G. Jennings; Mildred M. Maldonado-Molina; Alex R. Piquero; Glorisa Canino
Date Published
March 2010
11 pages
This study examined the relationship between parental suicidality and juvenile delinquency in a large sample of Hispanic youth socialized in two different cultural contexts, Bronx, NY, and San Juan, PR.
Several studies have examined the factors associated with juvenile delinquency, but this literature remains limited largely because it has not moved beyond traditional factors generally and because of the lack of research conducted on minority - specially Hispanic - youth. This study seeks to overcome these 2 limitations by using data from a longitudinal study of 2,491 Hispanic (Puerto Rican) youth ages 5-13 (48.5 percent female) socialized in 2 different cultural contexts, Bronx, New York and San Juan, Puerto Rico, in an effort to examine the relationship between parental suicidality and offspring delinquency. Results indicate that while traditional risk/protective factors and parental mental health issues relate to delinquency in expected ways, youths whose parents attempted suicide engaged in more frequent and varied delinquency over time. Implications for theory and future research are addressed. Tables and references (Published Abstract)