skip navigation

Add your conference to our Justice Events calendar


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the NCJRS Abstracts Database. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.

  NCJ Number: NCJ 242326   Add to Shopping cart   Find in a Library
  Title: Examination of the 'Marriage Effect' on Desistance From Crime Among U.S. Immigrants
  Document URL: PDF 
  Dataset URL: DATASET 1
  Author(s): Bianca E. Bersani, Ph.D. ; Stephanie DiPietro, Ph.D.
  Date Published: 03/2013
  Page Count: 81
  Annotation: This study integrated research on immigration, marriage and family, and crime, in order to identify factors that influence patterns of criminal offending among the children of immigrants as they become young adults.
  Abstract: The findings show similarities and differences between immigrant generations regarding marriage patterns and offending. There were two key findings. First, counter to expectations of a decline in the marriage rate for the second generation of immigrants, the study found that second-generation immigrants marry at rates comparable to their White, Hispanic, and first-generation immigrant peers. Second, consistent with previous research, the study found that marriage is negatively related to crime for both first- and second-generation immigrants; however, this “marriage effect” is particularly strong for the second generation of immigrant families. Thus, consistent with previous criminological research on the marriage effect among the native-born, the results of this study show that being married fosters desistance from crime for both first-generation and second-generation immigrants. This suggests that efforts to preserve and promote family connections among immigrants and within immigrant communities should be at the forefront of immigration policy reform. Policies that result in deportation and the dissolution of immigrant families may fuel crime rates among second-generation immigrant children. The study used 13 waves of data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 (NLSY97), which is a representative survey of people living in the United States who were 12 to 16 years old during the initial round of data collection in 1997. Youth complete a self-administered questionnaire that collects information on sensitive topics such as crime/delinquency, arrest, and substance use. The dataset also includes information on family dynamics, structural factors, and individual characteristics. Of the youth surveyed in the first wave, there were 590 first-generation immigrants and 998 second-generation immigrants. 10 tables and 90 references
  Main Term(s): Criminology
  Index Term(s): Crime prevention measures ; Immigrants/Aliens ; Alien criminality ; Criminal career patterns ; Family structure ; NIJ final report
  Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
US Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
United States of America
  Grant Number: 2011-IJ-CX-0002
  Sale Source: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
  Type: Report (Study/Research) ; Report (Grant Sponsored)
  Country: United States of America
  Language: English
  To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.