Trajectories of Victimization in Ethnic Diaspora Immigrant and Native Adolescents: Separating Acculturation from Development

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Abstract

This longitudinal study aimed to differentiate between acculturative and developmental processes by (a) comparing levels and change rates in victimization among ethnic German immigrants and native German adolescents in Germany and Russian Jewish immigrants in Israel, and (b) testing whether interindividual differences in victimization among immigrant youth can be explained by the same general factors as in native groups or by migration-specific factors. In addition, we tested whether or not acculturative and developmental processes interact. The sample comprised 1,300 ethnic German immigrants, 820 native German adolescents, and 1,535 Russian Jewish adolescents. The participants (15.36-years-old) completed 3 annual assessments. Two-part latent growth models showed similar levels and rates of change among all 3 ethnic groups. Interindividual differences in victimization were largely explained by the same general factors across all ethnic groups but acculturation-related hassles explained additional variance among immigrant youth. Acculturation and development interacted such that the protective effect of age did not set in until 3–5 years of residence among both immigrant groups. Results suggest that developmental pathways to victimization are very similar among immigrant and native youth once immigrants successfully have managed the phase transition of resettlement.

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