Using data from the Rochester Youth Development Study (RYDS), this article compares Hispanic, African American, and White male adolescents to determine if the reasons for joining a gang and participating in delinquent behavior differ among these youths. Vigil's multiple marginality perspective informed the selection of variables. The age at which the primary caregiver had her first child, parental expectations for educational achievement, and coming from a Spanish-speaking home predict ever being in a gang and are indirectly related to general delinquency, serious delinquency, and drug sales. These findings are interpreted as reflecting the social structural disadvantages that Hispanic families face and the difficulties that arise as the younger generation becomes less tied to the traditional culture.
- gang membership