First Generation Hispanic Youth Setback With Gangs Essay

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Hispanics in California and across the United States have had a difficult time assimilating to American culture over the past decades. This problem of non-assimilation has had a big impact on Hispanics overall to include gangs, drugs, high school dropout rates, teen pregnancies, crime, and poverty, to name a few. The problems are most prevalent among Mexican and Central American Hispanic youth. While the majority of immigrants that journey to the United States come with good intentions seeking for employment and to improve their lives, the children of such a particular group of immigrants does not always attempt to raise the level of success in their generation. Most immigrant parents are not involved in their children’s education due to cultural differences (Turney, Kristin, and Grace Kao, 2009). Even a few parents who were once involved in gangs are at fault for egging their children on to gang lifestyles. Likewise, the current generation that assimilates to the gang lifestyle fuels the enormous amount of Latinos incarcerated in California-38% (California Progress Report, 2008), and 40% of the population in federal penitentiaries (Chacon, 2009) According to an article in the Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, the reason Hispanic youths sink to a lower level of social status, which includes gang involvement, is due to “encouragement and tolerance, imitation, and defining norms,” of the family (De La Rosa, Rice, Rugh 2007). As Latin American immigrants flow into to the United States seeking better opportunities for their families, it is ironic that their children are often left to adjust to American societal norms on their own. In the majority of cases children born in the U.S. from immigrant parents cannot associate with the hardships their parents endured in their native countries. Since most immigrants come from poverty-stricken backgrounds and

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