Minor delinquency and immigration: A longitudinal study among male adolescents

Peter F. Titzmann, Rainer K. Silbereisen, Gustavo Mesch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


On the basis of general theories of delinquency and the specific situation of immigrants, this longitudinal study investigated predictors of initial levels and rates of change in delinquency among 188 male ethnic German Diaspora immigrants from the former Soviet Union (FSU) in Germany, 237 male native German adolescents, and 182 male Jewish Diaspora adolescents from the FSU in Israel. The participants (15.2 years old) completed 3 annual assessments. Latent growth curve models showed that ethnic German adolescents reported higher initial levels of delinquency than native German adolescents and lower levels than the Russian Jewish adolescents. Groups did not differ in the rate of change, indicating a decrease in delinquency over time. Peer-oriented leisure related positively and parental knowledge negatively with levels and change rates in delinquency in all groups, but could not fully account for the ethnic differences in delinquency levels. School bonding was associated negatively with delinquency only among native German adolescents. Acculturation-related hassles were an additional predictor for higher levels and also associated with change rates in the immigrant groups. Thus, general theories of delinquency apply to immigrants, but may be complemented by adding acculturation-specific challenges.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271-282
Number of pages12
JournalDevelopmental Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014


  • Acculturation
  • Adolescence
  • Delinquency
  • Immigration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


Dive into the research topics of 'Minor delinquency and immigration: A longitudinal study among male adolescents'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this