Peer Relations and Chinese-Canadian Delinquency

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The main and interactive effects of delinquent friends, peer attachment, and association with Chinese friends on delinquency are examined based on a sample of Chinese-Canadian youths. The results reveal that association with delinquent friends increases delinquency involvement, whereas attachment to peers has just the opposite effect. In terms of interactive effects, it is found that strong attachment to peers dampens the criminogenic effect of delinquent friends. There is also the unexpected finding that association with Chinese friends increases the likelihood of delinquency involvement. Further analyses have shown that association with Chinese friends may indicate the degree of balance between same-ethnic and cross-ethnic friendship ties that, in turn, affects delinquency. The results underscore the importance of both cultural adherence and friendship ties in the prevention of delinquency.

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