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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 221577 Find in a Library
Title: Relation of Community Violence Exposure to Psychological Distress in Incarcerated Male Adolescents: Moderating Role of Caregiver-Adult Support and Control
Journal: Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment and Trauma  Volume:15  Issue:2  Dated:2007  Pages:79-95
Author(s): Joanna Ball; Gregory Jurkovic; Nekol Barber; Ron Koon; Lisa Armistead; Samuel Fasulo; Marla Zucker
Date Published: 2007
Page Count: 17
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined the relation of community violence and caregiver characteristics to various psychological problems of incarcerated male juvenile offenders
Abstract: Research established that both exposure to community violence and family functioning were predictive of various forms of psychological distress in adolescents. Specifically, as levels of community violence exposure increased, feelings of depression and anxiety increased, particularly when caregiver-adult support was low. With respect to alcohol/drug use, significant effects for both community violence exposure and caregiver –adult were found. As community violence exposure increased, alcohol/drug use increased, whereas increases in caregiver support were associated with less alcohol/drug use. The findings have implications for treatment programming for incarcerated juvenile offenders; helping them to cope with their reintroduction into the violent communities in which they lived prior to their incarceration should be a critical part of their treatment plan. Underscored is the importance of bolstering caregiver-adult support for incarcerated adolescents ideally before they return home. An important piece in this process should include teaching youth how to solicit such support. At a larger systems level, the current findings also further underscore the need for community-wide interventions and social policies to facilitate the development of violence-free neighborhoods and supportive family relationships. The sample consisted of 116 juvenile offenders of varying ethnicities, between the ages of 12 and 17; most of the youth had committed multiple offenses, including status, property, and person related crime that ranged in severity from runaway to murder. Limitations are discussed including the need for further investigation of socio-familial variables influencing the psychological adjustment of both serious and less serious juvenile offenders, and the role of gender and ethno-cultural characteristics on psychological distress. Tables, figures, references
Main Term(s): Exposure to Violence; Mental disorders; Young juvenile offenders
Index Term(s): Behavioral and Social Sciences; Ethnicity; Gender; Individual behavior; Juvenile Delinquent behavior; Problem behavior; Psychological evaluation; Psychosexual behavior; Risk taking behavior; Sexual behavior
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