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Exposure to Serious Family Violence Among Incarcerated Boys: Its Association With Violent Offending and Potential Mediating Variables

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A sample of 213 delinquent male adolescents (mean age = 16.1) were compared on interview-based measures concerning exposure to interadult family violence and physical abuse, attitudes toward aggression, self-reported competence, and coping strategies. Using juvenile arrest data and self-reports of violent behaviors, the sample was divided into four groups: "Violent Offenders," "Undetected Violent Offenders," "Violent Deniers," and "Controls." Results indicated that violent offenders and undetected violent offenders had higher rates of exposure to serious physical abuse, and weapons violence between adults, than controls and deniers. A series of 2 x 2 ANOVAs further indicated that exposure to serious violence was associated with lower self-reported competence, attitudes more supportive of aggression, and more use of aggressive control as a form of coping. Logistic regression analyses were also consistent with the hypothesis that the effects of exposure to family violence on serious violent offending are mediated by beliefs supporting aggression and by the tendency to cope through aggressive control-seeking. Implications of these results for future research concerning exposure to family violence as a risk factor for serious violent offending are discussed.
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Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: 1: Institute for Juvenile Research, University of Illinois at Chicago 2: Center for Family Studies, University of Miami 3: DePaul University

Publication date: 1995-01-01

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  • Violence and Victims discusses theory, research, policy, and clinical practice in the area of interpersonal violence and victimization across such disciplines as psychology, sociology, criminology, law, medicine, nursing, psychiatry, and social work.

    The journal's 2014 Impact Factor is 0.858.
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