Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Family discipline, religous attendance cut levels of later violence among aggressive children

05.03.2004


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.



The study, which also was designed to assess whether there were any differences in these factors by race or between boys and girls, found only one significant racial variance and none by gender. Just 11 percent of black adolescents later engaged in violent behavior if their parents practiced such good family-management skills as actively providing supervision, setting clear rules and expectations for behavior and reinforcing good work habits. This compared to 49 percent for black adolescents whose parents did not have these kinds of skills. Among white adolescents, there was little difference. Among 15 year olds whose families had practiced good family management, 30 percent later engaged in violence, while the rate was 32 percent for those whose families had poor family-management skills.

"We need to know more about the relationship between family management practices for black families and environmental or neighborhood risks," said Herrenkohl. Clearly there was a dramatic difference in the rate of violence when good family management was present and this suggests it is important in working against future violent behavior."

Three factors put the teens at risk for later violence. Those who lived in what the authors called disorganized neighborhoods were 2.5 times more likely to engage in violence later on. These neighborhoods are characterized by crime, run-down housing, poverty, gangs and drug activity. Other significant risk factors were having the chance to associate with antisocial peers during adolescence and regular involvement with those kinds of peers.

The study used data from the much larger ongoing Seattle Social Development Project of more than 800 Seattle school children who are now adults, that is being directed by J. David Hawkins, UW social work professor and head of Social Development Research Group. In the new study, behavior was monitored at ages 10, 15 and 18. Teachers assessed all of the students in the larger Seattle study at age 10 for childhood aggression based on 10 behaviors including bullying, getting into fights, threatening people and having explosive or unpredictable behavior.

One hundred and fifty-four children were rated as being highly aggressive and were followed in the violence study. This group was predominantly male (64 percent), and 49 percent of the subjects were black while 34 percent were white. The remaining 17 percent were of another race or ethnicity, none large enough to draw any valid statistical conclusions.

At age 15 the adolescents filled out questionnaires that asked about their experiences at home, in school and in their peer groups, as well as about the characteristics of their neighborhoods, their level of attachment to their neighborhoods and their attendance at religious services. Age 15 is considered a benchmark time for looking at adolescent behavior, according to Herrenkohl, because it generally marks the transition to high school and there is an expectation that children should have more independence while still requiring family monitoring.

At age 18 the adolescents filled out self-reports that detailed any use of physical violence, ranging from picking a fight to hitting a parent or beating someone so badly that the victim required medical attention. Overall, 35 percent of the 154 adolescents had engaged in violent behavior by the time they reached age 18.

"While much research has shown that aggressive children are at high risk for later serious and chronic behavior, it is never too late to intervene and it is a mistake to assume that all early behavior problems will lead to later and more serious antisocial behavior," said Herrenkohl. "This research is the first step in documenting those things that can benefit children later on and protect them against violent behavior."


The findings were published in the journal Social Work Research, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse funded the study.

Co-authors were Karl Hill, director of the UW’s Seattle Social Development Project; Ick-Joong Chung, an assistant professor of social welfare at Duksung Women’s University in Seoul, South Korea; Jie Guo, a former research scientist at the UW’s Social Development Research Group; Robert Abbott, chairman of educational psychology at the UW; and David Hawkins.

For more information, contact Herrenkohl at (206) 221-7873 or tih@u.washington.edu.

Joel Schwarz | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.washington.edu/

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Sibling differences: Later-borns choose less prestigious programs at university
14.11.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für demografische Forschung

nachricht Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ
09.11.2017 | Vanderbilt University

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Heavy nitrogen molecules reveal planetary-scale tug-of-war

20.11.2017 | Earth Sciences

Taking a spin on plasma space tornadoes with NASA observations

20.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NASA detects solar flare pulses at Sun and Earth

17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>