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 Fixating on faces
26.01.2017 | California Institute of Technology

nachricht Internet use in class tied to lower test scores
16.12.2016 | Michigan State 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 quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Physicists discover mechanism behind granular capillary effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Measured for the first time: Direction of light waves changed by quantum effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>