Parent-Youth Relationships, Racial Discrimination, and Delinquency among Second-Generation Ethiopian Israeli Adolescents: Translational Implications

  • Steven M. KoganEmail author
  • Simcha Getahune
  • Sophie D. Walsh
Original Paper



Second-generation immigrant youth in general, and Ethiopian Israeli youth in particular, are at risk for poverty and exposure to discrimination, circumstances that increase their vulnerability to delinquent behavior. Studies of immigrant youth indicate that family influences exert powerful influences on delinquent behavior and have been the focus of many efficacious prevention programs. Little is known, however, regarding family relationships and delinquency among Ethiopian Israelis, a vulnerable group for whom limited family-centered prevention programs exist. We thus investigated parent-youth relationship factors associated with delinquency and their potential to moderate the link between racial discrimination and delinquency.


The study sample included 110 Ethiopian Israeli adolescents who completed measures of discrimination, relationship quality, and limit setting with their mothers and fathers, and delinquency.


Direct effect analyses indicated that having a disengaged relationship with one’s father, a lack of limit setting by one’s mother and, to a limited extent, having an engaged relationship with one’s mother were particularly salient family factors predicting delinquency. Interaction analyses revealed that disengaged mother-youth relationships, engaged mother-youth relationships, and a lack of limit setting by mothers and fathers moderated the influence of racial discrimination on delinquency.


The present study provides evidence for the importance of parent-youth engagement characteristics and parental limit setting in the relationships between Ethiopian Israeli youth and their mothers and fathers.


Delinquency Family relations Immigrant youth Ethiopian Israeli 


Authors’ Contributions

All authors, SMK, SDW, and SG, contributed to the study conception. Data collection was performed under the supervision of the study principal investigator, SDW. SMK analyzed the data. The first draft of the manuscript was written by SMK, and all authors commented on subsequent versions of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

Human subjects approval was received from Bar Ilan University ethics board and the Israeli Ministry of Education.

Informed Consent

Written informed assent/consent was obtained from adolescents and their parents.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Human Development and Family ScienceUniversity of GeorgiaAthensGeorgia
  2. 2.Bar Ilan UniversityRamat GanIsrael

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