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NCJ Number: 222380 Find in a Library
Title: Unraveling the Link Between Trauma and Delinquency: The Mediating Role of Negative Affect and Delinquent Peer Exposure
Journal: Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice  Volume:6  Issue:2  Dated:April 2008  Pages:136-157
Author(s): Tina Maschi; Carolyn A. Bradley; Keith Morgen
Date Published: April 2008
Page Count: 22
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study explored the influence of negative affect and delinquent peer exposure on the link between trauma and juvenile delinquency.
Abstract: Findings showed that negative effect such as anger, and delinquent peer exposure functioned as part of the mediating mechanism between trauma and delinquency. The findings demonstrate that mediating effects exist. The only full mediating effect was found for the effects of traumatic events of property offending. Effects of stressful life events on property offending were only partially mediating. The effects of exposure to violence and stressful life events on delinquency were partially mediating. These findings have important implications for practitioners and researchers across the child welfare, social service, criminal justice, and mental health disciplines. Understanding the multiple pathways connecting trauma and delinquency suggests how prevention and intervention efforts targeting youth might be structured to improve health and justice outcomes. Trauma assessments and treatment in schools and correctional settings would be advantageous if they were routine mental health and social service activities. Implementing trauma awareness training for teachers, mental health staff, and correctional staff for the identification of child maltreatment and other stressful life events such as academic problems, parental divorce, and the loss of a loved one would be beneficial. Emotional literacy training is a promising prevention and intervention approach because it emphasizes the ability to recognize, understand, handle, and appropriately express emotions. Programs that emphasize the development of social and emotional skills have demonstrated that youth have decreased the use of physical and verbal aggression and disruptive behavior. This type of social work and intervention in schools and correctional settings could assist youth in increasing coping skills to deal with minor-to-severe stressors as well as help them recognize and process anger and a wide array of emotions. Developing interventions that decrease delinquent peer exposure and increase prosocial support systems is especially important in reducing juvenile delinquency in males. Tables, references
Main Term(s): Juvenile delinquency theory; Peer influences on behavior
Index Term(s): Juvenile delinquency; Juvenile delinquency factors; Juvenile delinquency prediction; Juvenile delinquency prevention; Youthful offenders
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