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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 154076 Find in a Library
Title: Assessing Violent Offending in Serious Juvenile Offenders
Journal: Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology  Volume:21  Issue:3  Dated:(June 1993)  Pages:233-243
Author(s): S W Henggeler; G B Melton; L A Smith; S L Foster; J H Hanley; C M Hutchinson
Date Published: 1993
Page Count: 11
Type: Measurement/Evaluation Device
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined the convergent validity of the two most frequently used methods for assessing violent offending by juveniles.
Abstract: Participants were 87 juveniles identified by Department of Youth Services staff as at imminent risk of out-of-home placement due to their serious criminal activity; juveniles were either chronic offenders (three or more criminal arrests) or violent offenders. The mean age of participants was 15 years old; 71 percent were male; 56 percent were African-American; 43 percent were caucasian; and 1 percent were Hispanic-American. Twenty-six percent did not live with either biological parent. The research assessment was conducted in each family's home and lasted approximately 1 hour. Measures of violent and nonviolent offending were obtained through official arrest records and self-reports on criminal behavior within the last 4 months. Validation measures reflected established correlates of delinquency, including adolescent behavioral problems, adolescent social competence, family relations, maternal symptomatology, and peer relations. Results failed to support the ability of either arrests for violent crime or self- reported violent offenses to index violent criminal behavior accurately. Several methodological features of the study support the authors' hypothesis that the findings were not spurious. Procedural and conceptual implications of the findings are discussed. 1 table and 32 references
Main Term(s): Violent juvenile offenders
Index Term(s): Criminality prediction; Dangerousness; Juvenile arrest records; Self-report studies
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