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Predictors of Youth Violence

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 2000
12 pages
This Bulletin describes a number of risk and protective factors that produce or prevent youth violence.
In order to determine these factors, the quantitative results of a large number of relevant studies were synthesized using meta-analysis procedures. The 66 studies examined were drawn from Lipsey and Derzon's bibliography (1998) and supplemented by research reports provided by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Study Group members and analyses of the Seattle Social Development Project longitudinal data set. Predictors of youth violence are presented in five domains: individual, family, school, peer-related, and community and neighborhood factors. Individual factors include pregnancy and delivery complications; low resting heart rate; internalizing disorders; hyperactivity, concentration problems, restlessness, and risk-taking; aggressiveness; early initiation of violent behavior; involvement in other forms of antisocial behavior; and beliefs and attitudes favorable to deviant or antisocial behavior. Family factors encompass parental criminality, child maltreatment, poor family management practices, low levels of parental involvement, poor family bonding and family conflict, parental attitudes favorable to substance use and violence, and parent-child separation. School factors include academic failure, low bonding to school, truancy and dropping out of school, and frequent school transitions. Peer-related factors are delinquent siblings, delinquent peers, and gang membership. Community and neighborhood factors involve poverty, community disorganization, availability of drugs and firearms, neighborhood adults involved in crime, and exposure to violence and racial prejudice. 60 references

Date Published: April 1, 2000