Hopelessness and Delinquent Behavior as Predictors of Community Violence Exposure in Ethnic Minority Male Adolescent Offenders

Amanda N. Burnside*, Noni K. Gaylord-Harden

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

Justice-involved boys from urban communities are disproportionately impacted by community violence exposure (ECV) and despite decades of research, rates of ECV in youth continue to increase particularly for youth involved in the juvenile justice system. Despite the increased risk of exposure, the majority of research focuses on what may protect youth from the deleterious outcomes associated with violence exposure, rather than strategies that may prevent the violence exposure from occurring. The current study seeks to shift the focus of research in this area to examining factors that may predict future violence exposure. Specifically, the purpose of the current study is to examine the role of hopelessness as a predictor of the risk for violence exposure in a sample of 831 justice-involved, urban boys ages 14–18 (52.2% African American, 42.1% Hispanic, 5.7% other). Results revealed that baseline levels of low aspirations and hopelessness towards the future indirectly predicted violence exposure 1 year later through engagement in delinquent behavior. Clinical implications for targeting youth with elevated risk and preventing future violence exposure are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)801-810
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Abnormal Child Psychology
Volume47
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 15 2019

Keywords

  • Delinquency
  • Hopelessness
  • Juvenile justice
  • Violence exposure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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