Are Community Violence-Exposed Youth at Risk of Engaging in Delinquent Behavior? A Review and Implications for Residential Treatment Research and Practice

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Tyreasa Washington, Associate Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Numerous studies have documented a direct association between children’s exposure to community violence and subsequent delinquent behavior. Regrettably, an understanding of the community violence exposure-delinquent behavior link is incomplete because violence-exposed children rarely engage in delinquency immediately. Rather, there are complex, developmental pathways in which these children experience behavioral problems before subsequently exhibiting delinquent behavior. Despite the importance of understanding the mechanisms that illuminate how children exposed to violence in the community might engage in delinquency, relatively few studies have investigated potential mechanisms. This review proposes four potential mechanisms: depression, anxiety/PTSD, conduct disorder, and aggression. More specifically, we examine how certain internalizing and externalizing behaviors can potentially mediate the relationship between community violence exposure and delinquent behavior. We also discuss implications for residential treatment research and practice.

Additional Information

Residential Treatment for Children & Youth, 31(4), 266-283
Language: English
Date: 2014
community violence, delinquency, residential treatment, violence, youth

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