Adolescent Violent Behavior: An Analysis Across and Within Racial/Ethnic Groups


Franke, T. M. (2000). Adolescent Violent Behavior: An Analysis Across and Within Racial/Ethnic Groups. Journal of Ethnic and Cultural Diversity in Social Work. vol. 8 pp. 47-70


The focus of this study was on the association between family characteristics (e.g., family structure, family cohesion), race/ethnicity and their relationship to violent behaviors in adolescents. Family characteristics represent one piece of a larger ecological model that includes individual, peer, school, and neighborhood/community factors. The current study uses data from the National Study of Adolescent Health (Wave 1). Add Health was a longitudinal study of adolescents in grades 7 through 12. The survey gathered information about the respondent's health and health-related behaviors, emotional well being, and family and school environment. The variables of interest in this study are all self-reported measures of violent behavior: (1) being in a serious physical fight, (2) seriously injuring someone, (3) pulling a knife or gun on someone, and (4) shooting or stabbing someone. Differences between those who reported being involved in violent behaviors are related, at least in part, to family cohesion, family structure, gender, and race/ethnicity. Family cohesion served as a protective factor in all four models of violent behavior regardless of racial/ethnic group. Attention needs to be focused not only on the other domains involved in this ecological model (e.g., individual, family, peer, school, and neighborhood/community) but also on the possible interactive effects of variables both within and across these domains. Future interventions need to focus their efforts on the multiple dimensions of youth violence as well as give consideration to a multi-pronged approach in addressing the needs of youth at risk for violent behaviors.




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Journal Article

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Journal of Ethnic and Cultural Diversity in Social Work


Franke, T. M.

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