Dreams, Gangs and Guns: The Interplay Between Adolescent Violence and Immigration in a New York City Neighborhood

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This report, authored by senior research associate Pedro Mateu-Gelabert, posits a view that immigrant youth and those born to immigrants associate with violent neighborhood gangs out of a need to socially acclimate. Based on interviews with youths and parents in the predominantly Dominican El Dorado neighborhood of New York City, Mateu-Gelabert found that immigrant parents were ill-equipped to help their kids adapt to new (or even familiar) surroundings. Instead, these youths learned social norms from other youths, which the author says increased their propensity toward violence. Removed from settings where such violence is rampant, says Mateu-Gelabert, the same youth will experience a positive behavioral shift. 37 pages. Free. Vera Institute of Justice, 233 Broadway, 12th floor, New York, NY 10279. (212) 334-1300, www.vera.org.