A cross-national comparison of externalizing behaviors among high-risk youth and youth gang members in metropolitan Boston, Massachusetts, and San Salvador, El salvador

René Olate, Christopher Salas-Wright, Michael G. Vaughn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)


Youth interventions often focus on high-risk youth; however, little is known about the similarities and differences of these youth cross-nationally. This study examines externalizing behaviors of youth in Boston (n = 374) and San Salvador (n = 208) and compares several domains. Results reveal significant differences between populations; Salvadoran youth exhibited higher rates of violence and delinquency, marijuana use, and unprotected sex. Similarities were found for school attendance and school dropout levels, employment, alcohol use, and sexual activity. Findings indicate that youth gang members may face a higher intensity of externalizing risk behaviors. These findings have implications for interventions and policies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)356-369
Number of pages14
JournalVictims and Offenders
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Oct 1


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Health(social science)
  • Applied Psychology
  • Law

Cite this