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Prediction of Violence Perpetration Among High-risk Youth

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Objectives: To prospectively examine demographic background, personality, perceived environment, and behavior as violence perpetration predictors in emerging adulthood among high-risk adolescents using problem-behavior theory as a conceptual perspective. Methods: Self-report questionnaires were administered 5 years apart to 676 participants. Results: Hard drug use, belief that hurting another's property while drunk was acceptable, and high-risk group self-identification predicted later violence perpetration independent of baseline violence perpetration. Conclusions: Consistent with problem-behavior theory, personality, perceived environment, and behavior variables, beyond baseline violent behavior, predict risk for future violence perpetration in emerging adulthood, whereas demographic background may exert indirect effects.

Keywords: emerging adulthood; problem behavior theory; violence; youth

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Institute for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Research, Department of Preventive Medicine, University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine, Alhambra, CA.

Publication date: March 1, 2004

More about this publication?
  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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