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NCJ Number: 197893 Find in a Library
Title: Correlates of Gun Involvement and Aggressiveness Among Adolescents
Journal: Youth & Society  Volume:34  Issue:2  Dated:December 2002  Pages:195-213
Author(s): Cody S. Ding; Edward A. Nelson; Cynthia T. Lassonde
Date Published: December 2002
Page Count: 19
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined adolescents' aggressiveness in relation to their experiences, beliefs, and attitudes concerning gun use and analyzed family composition, relationships with parents, and emotionality as correlates of gun involvement and aggressiveness.
Abstract: A total of 334 junior-high students (167 females and 167 males) in upstate New York completed a self-report questionnaire. In addition to family composition and other demographic issues, the questions focused on relationships with parents, emotions and moods, gun-related beliefs and experiences, and aspects of aggressiveness. The primary issue for the study was possible links among individual differences in gun ownership and recreational use of guns, beliefs about the effects of gun use, and aggressiveness. Correlation coefficients and regression analyses found that males who had more experience with guns reported reacting more violently to frustration, and they also admitted to having participated in greater numbers of violent incidents. Girls who indicated they were alienated from and dissatisfied with their mothers felt generally more upset and unhappy, reacted angrily to frustration, and more often expressed aggression toward persons and objects. Both boys and girls whose families owned and used guns tended to believe that gun-use had innocuous effects. In attempting to explain the correlations between recreational gun use and aggressiveness, the authors suggest that adolescents' experiences with guns in killing animals might contribute to emotional arousal, beliefs, and expectations that violent acts can give them power over others, especially those who thwart them. These learned reactions, in turn, could dispose them to become more aggressive toward humans in addition to animals. This conclusion is consistent with Anderson's (1997) General Affective Aggression Model. 3 tables and 34 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile gun ownership
Index Term(s): Aggression; Juvenile delinquency factors; Violence causes; Violent juvenile offenders
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