A Review of Latino Youth Development Research and a Call for an Asset Orientation

Michael C. Rodriguez, Diana Morrobel

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


A focus on youth development is the strongest means of prevention of problems faced by Latino youths. Latino youths are the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population and have high rates of developmental deficits. However, youth development researchers have not attended to the inclusion and reporting of results for Latino youths. This study presents a challenge to youth development researchers, service providers, and policy makers to adopt a youth development orientation in their work. A comprehensive review of six youth development journals and two Latino-focused journals allowed for the evaluation of the inclusion of Latino youths. Of 1,010 empirical articles, 30% included Latino youths, 6% reported results for Latino youths, and less than 3% focused on Latino youths. The researchers reporting results for Latino youths were largely unguided by specific theoretical frameworks and heavily deficit oriented. A framework to increase attention to Latino youths in developmental research is suggested.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)107-127
Number of pages21
JournalHispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2004

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2008 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Asset orientation
  • Latino adolescents
  • Latino youths
  • Youth development


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