Criminal epidemiology and the immigrant paradox: Intergenerational discontinuity in violence and antisocial behavior among immigrants

Michael George Vaughn, Christopher P. Salas-Wright, Brandy R. Maynard, Zhengmin Qian, Lauren Terzis, Abdi M. Kusow, Matt DeLisi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: A growing number of studies have examined the immigrant paradox with respect to antisocial behavior and crime in the United States. However, there remains a need for a comprehensive examination of the intergenerational nature of violence and antisocial behavior among immigrants using population-based samples. Methods: The present study, employing data from Wave I and II data of the National Epidemiologic Survey of Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC), sought to address these gaps by examining the prevalence of nonviolent criminal and violent antisocial behavior among first, second, and third-generation immigrants and compare these to the prevalence found among non-immigrants and each other in the United States. Results: There is clear evidence of an intergenerational severity-based gradient in the relationship between immigrant status and antisocial behavior and crime. The protective effect of nativity is far-and-away strongest among first-generation immigrants, attenuates substantially among second-generation immigrants, and essentially disappears among third-generation immigrants. These patterns were also stable across gender. Conclusion: The present study is among the first to examine the intergenerational nature of antisocial behavior and crime among immigrants using population-based samples. Results provide robust evidence that nativity as a protective factor for immigrants wanes with each successive generation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)483-490
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Criminal Justice
Volume42
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Nov 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law

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