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Perspectives of resilience & recidivism among Hispanic male adolescents

Javier Montanez, Johnson & Wales University


In recent years America witnessed a vast migration of Hispanics into the country. Projections from the U.S. Census Bureau (2008) indicate over the next several decades there will be an unprecedented increase in the Latino population. Due to large influxes in prominent geographical locations, many immigrant cultural beliefs have been preserved, as well as many poor problem solving abilities. The negative choices made by male Hispanic adolescents result in an increase in incarcerations and aftercare program placements. The intent of this study was to gain insights regarding the perceptions of Hispanic adolescents who have demonstrated recidivist behavioral patterns. A gap is evident in the existing research exploring the affective, social, and educational factors that may contribute to resiliency, particularly among Hispanic adolescents (Sickmund, Sladyky, Kang, & Puzzanchera, 2008). While data on aftercare program models indicate some effectiveness based on long and short term recidivism rates among program participants, Rodriguez concluded that further studies are needed to research how “gender, race, ethnicity, and culture affect restorative justice procedures and outcomes” (Rodriquez, 2007, p. 374). The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study was to explore the barriers that urban, male Hispanic adolescents face and the interventions that may contribute to their behaviors. Participants (N = 10) were purposefully selected (Creswell, 2009) based on the following criteria: (1) Latino males between 18 and 23; (2) U.S. residents for no less than five years; (3) history of recidivist behaviors leading to incarceration; and (4) demonstration of a minimal pattern of two years of resilient behavior. The researcher employed a self-generated demographic questionnaire, a semi-structured interview protocol, and a group moderator’s guide in order to obtain data (Gall et al., 2007). Interviewing of participants continued until data saturation was achieved. Topics, patterns, and themes were analyzed using the long table approach (Krueger & Casey, 2000). A significant finding from this study is the influence of fear which can transform itself into positive and negative influences. Findings were reported in a narrative summary (Creswell, 2009; Lincoln & Guba, 1985). Information obtained can be shared with educational leaders, program directors, and other stakeholders in order to help construct individual plans that would aid in the redirection of Hispanic adolescents’ choices and lives.

Subject Area

Educational leadership|Educational administration|Criminology|Hispanic American studies

Recommended Citation

Montanez, Javier, "Perspectives of resilience & recidivism among Hispanic male adolescents" (2011). Dissertation & Theses Collection. AAI3450224.