Empathy, Exposure to Community Violence, and Use of Violence Among Urban, At-Risk Adolescents
Source: Child and Youth Care Forum, Volume 33, Number 1, February 2004 , pp. 33-50(18)
Abstract:This study investigated the relationships between use of violence, empathy and exposure to community violence among urban at-risk adolescent males. Participants completed a battery of self-report measures to assess their levels of empathy, exposure to community violence and use of violent behavior. Literature suggests that a negative relationship exists between empathy and violent behavior. Adolescents who report high levels of exposure to violence will also report low levels of empathy and frequent use of violence. Furthermore, low empathy and high exposure to community violence are believed to predict increased use of violence among participants. Data were examined using a multiple regression analysis; results indicate that while low empathy alone does not predict use of violence, low empathy coupled with high levels of exposure to community violence is a significant predictor of use of violence. Implications for violence prevention and treatment, along with directions for future research are discussed.
Document Type: Research article
Publication date: 2004-02-01