Latino and Latina youth offenders are an understudied population. Additionally, research that has been conducted within the youth offender population has primarily focused on males. This study aimed to examine two potentially protective factors for Latino/a youth offenders, family cohesiveness and future orientation, with the hypothesis that externalizing behavior and internalizing symptom problems would be attenuated with increased levels of family cohesiveness and more positive future orientation. The unique construct of future orientation was also proposed to moderate the relationship between family cohesiveness and externalizing/internalizing problems for the study participants. Furthermore, gender differences were explored, based on previous empirical findings that suggested distinctions between protective factors for girls versus boys, as well as differing expressions of internalizing symptoms and externalizing behaviors.
Participants included 160 Latino/a youth offenders. Youth perceptions of family cohesiveness (FACES-II subscale) and future orientation (exploratory composite variable) were examined in relation to youth self-reports of externalizing behaviors and internalizing symptoms on the CBCL-YSR. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses were conducted to examine these research questions. Results indicated that family cohesiveness significantly related to externalizing behaviors and internalizing symptoms for both Latino and Latina youth offenders. Greater levels of family cohesiveness corresponded to reduced levels of problem symptoms. Additionally, for Latina youth offenders only, future orientation appeared to be significantly related to expression of internalizing and externalizing symptoms, with higher endorsement of future orientation being associated with reduced levels of these problem symptoms. Finally, the moderator relationship proposed with regard to future orientation moderating the interaction between family cohesiveness and internalizing/externalizing symptoms was not substantiated in this study. The results of the moderator regression analyses were confounded by the multicollinearity of family cohesiveness and future orientation. Strengths, limitations, and implications for future research are discussed.
|Advisor:||Jimerson, Shane R.|
|School:||University of California, Santa Barbara|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-B 69/07, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Clinical psychology, Criminology, Individual & family studies, Hispanic American studies|
|Keywords:||Externalizing, Externalizing behavior, Family relationships, Future orientation, Internalizing, Internalizing symptoms, Latinas, Latinos, Youth offenders|
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