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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 220610 Find in a Library
Title: Distress and Violent Victimization Among Young Adolescent: Early Puberty and the Social Interactionist Explanation
Journal: Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency  Volume:44  Issue:4  Dated:November 2007  Pages:381-405
Author(s): Christopher J. Schreck; Melissa W. Burek; Eric A. Stewart; J. Mitchell Miller
Date Published: November 2007
Page Count: 25
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article explored the empirical validity of the Social Interactionist (SI) perspective as an explanation of violent victimization.
Abstract: The results of the study found that measures of distress significantly increased violent victimization among members of the sample; the SI measures partially mediated the relationship between early puberty and violent victimization for boys and fully mediated this relationship for girls. SI explains victimization as being a consequence of personal distress symptoms like negative demeanor and poor performance in tasks at school or work. Early puberty, which appeared to be a correlate of victimization, might provide an illustration of SI to the extent that those children who mature earlier experience greater distress. Adolescents who experienced emotional distress, performed poorly in school, and who violated minor rules were more likely to become victims of violent crime. Using SI, it appeared that early puberty created unusually high levels of distress for adolescents, more so for girls than for boys, causing them to behave in ways that created grievances with others and provoked victimization. The results provide further evidence that although there might be victims who take every reasonable precaution and who do nothing to provoke their attacker, victims can and do interact with their attackers and might escalate matters to the point where the attacker feels that a violent response would offer a satisfactory resolution of a grievance. Victimization researchers should be cognizant of the fact that people possess attributes that can predispose them toward becoming victims, even toward making an otherwise innocuous situation one where violence can occur. This research employed the first wave of the public use version of the Add Health which provided data on a variety of health and social issues for a nationally representative sample of adolescents between 7th and 12th grades, and attending school in the United States. The total number of respondents in the dataset totaled 6,504. Tables, appendix, notes, references
Main Term(s): Victimization risk; Victimization surveys
Index Term(s): Adolescent attitudes; Adolescent victims; Adolescents at risk; Behavior under stress; Public schools; Schools; Stress assessment
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