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NCJ Number: 201499 Find in a Library
Title: Community Violence and Adolescent Development: An Examination of Risk and Protective Factors Among African American Youth
Journal: Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice  Volume:19  Issue:3  Dated:August 2003  Pages:293-314
Author(s): Zina T. McGee
Date Published: August 2003
Page Count: 22
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses the degree of exposure to violence through actual attack, witnessing violent events, and delinquent peer associations.
Abstract: A discussion is presented on the effects of violence on adjustment outcome and information is provided on the effect of inner-city violence on behavioral problems among inner-city youth in Virginia. Emphasis is placed on the need for increased intervention in the lives of youths at risk of community and school violence. The study focuses on high school students and the effects of sociodemographic factors on the emotional adjustment; the effect of exposure of violence as a risk factor; and the effect of coping strategy as a protective factor on the development of problem behaviors. The analyses are based on responses to self-administered questionnaires completed by 500 African-American youth between the ages of 12 and 18. The assessment of adjustment included analyzing responses to instruments measuring development outcomes including the Self-Perception Profile for Adolescents, the Children’s Depression Inventory (CDI), the Revised Children’s Manifest Anxiety Scale, and additional instruments measuring school achievement and delinquency. Depression as an outcome was measured by the CDI, a 27-item instrument in which youth are asked to endorse descriptions that best apply, and results are used to assess cognitive, affective, and behavioral symptoms of childhood depression. Findings suggest a linkage between victimization, coping, and development among African-American youth exposed to danger. Regarding gender, the study’s results indicate the importance of continued examination of community- and school-based prevention focusing on the specific needs of students exposed to danger. For males, the effects of victimization have a stronger influence on the development of externalizing problem behaviors such as delinquency. Females are more likely to exhibit internalizing symptoms indicated of post traumatic stress disorder resulting from violence exposure. Coping strategies differ significantly between males and females. These findings suggest the need for further exploration of additional measures of coping and emotional development to examine the strength of these associations. 8 tables, 60 references
Main Term(s): Problem behavior; Victims of violent crime
Index Term(s): Acting out behavior; Aggression; Behavior; Juvenile Delinquent behavior; Male survivors; Violence
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