Aggressive 15 year olds who attended religious services, felt attached to their schools or were exposed to good family management were much less likely to have engaged in violent behavior by the time they turned 18, according to a new multi-ethnic study of urban youth by University of Washington researchers.
The study also showed that the likelihood of violence at 18 among aggressive youth was reduced when they had been exposed to several of what are called protective factors, even when they also were exposed to risk factors, according to lead author Todd Herrenkohl, UW assistant professor of social work.
The research, conducted by the UW’s Social Development Research Group, assessed the impact of what social scientists describe as protective and risk factors. Protective factors, such as feeling attached to your community and family and high academic achievement, can foster pro-social and healthy behaviors, said Herrenkohl. Risk factors, such as living in a run-down and crime-ridden neighborhood or associating with antisocial peers, can encourage antisocial or unhealthy behaviors.
Joel Schwarz | EurekAlert!
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