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NCJ Number: 185568 Find in a Library
Title: Social Contexts and Functions of Adolescent Violence (From Violence in American Schools: A New Perspective, P 55-93, 1998, Delbert S. Elliott, Beatrix A. Hamburg, et al., eds. -- See NCJ-185565)
Author(s): Jeffrey Fagan; Deanna L. Wilkinson
Date Published: 1998
Page Count: 39
Sponsoring Agency: Cambridge University Press
Cambridge, CB2 IRP, England
Sale Source: Cambridge University Press
The Pitt Building
Trumpington Street
Cambridge, CB2 IRP,
United Kingdom
Type: Literature Review
Format: Book (Softbound)
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This paper develops a conceptual framework for explaining adolescent violence in inner cities as a functional, goal-oriented behavior that serves specific purposes that reflect the stages of adolescent development.
Abstract: The discussion notes that the goals of adolescent violence are also specific to the social contexts in which the adolescent violence occurs. This perspective makes possible explanations that sort out the effect of immediate factors, including the presence of bystanders, intoxicants, or firearms, from the more distant influences of social psychological factors that predispose individuals toward more violent responses. These event-based approaches are theories of action that describe the dynamics of a human interaction and account for both motivation and decision making within events. Four types of violence common during childhood and adolescence in the inner city demonstrate intentionality, purposefulness, and goal orientation. These types of violence are the rough and tumble play that represents childhood aggression, gang violence, robbery, and dating violence. Five goals important to adolescents that may result in violent acts include: (1) impression management to achieve and maintain high status; (2) materialism, status, and social identity; (3) power; (4) rough justice, social control, and self-help; and (5) defiance of authority. Risk taking is another function that provides intrinsic returns. The pathways to violence for females often differ from male pathways. Mediating influences such as bystanders and alcohol can influence the individual’s decision making. In addition, the personal disputes that can result in violence contain their own processes or dynamics that affect the outcome. Notes and 139 references (Author abstract Modified)
Main Term(s): Juvenile delinquency factors
Index Term(s): Adolescent attitudes; Aggression; Dating Violence; Drug Related Crime; Gang violence; Interpersonal relations; Problem behavior; Robbery; Urban criminality; Violence causes; Youth development
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