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Violence Vict. 1995 Fall;10(3):163-82.

Exposure to serious family violence among incarcerated boys: its association with violent offending and potential mediating variables.

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Institute for Juvenile Research, University of Illinois at Chicago, USA.


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 violence behaviors, the sample was divided into four groups: "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 serious of 2 x 2 ANOVAs further indicated that exposure to serious violence was associated with lower self-reported competence, attitude more supportive of aggression, and more use of aggressive control as a form of coping. Logistics 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.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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