Accounting for the Difference in Violent Behavior between Immigrant and Native Youths

Jen-Hao Chen, University of Chicago

Children of immigrants consistently shower lower levels of violent behavior than native youths from comparable socioeconomic backgrounds. However, little is known about what factors explain the different rates of violent behavior in different populations. Drawing data from the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods (PHDCN), this paper use multivariate probit and ordered probit regression analyses to assess the question. The results suggest that family environment and parental supervision account in part for the differences in violent behavior between immigrant and native youths. The remaining differences between these groups' violent behaviors are explained by children's peer relationships. Children of immigrants engage in lower rate of violence for having better family environment and fewer delinquent friends. Neighborhood characteristics do not have the power to explain the different rates of violent behaviors in different populations.

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Presented in Session 70: Immigration and Child Development