Special Issue "Youth Aggression and Violence: Causes and Consequences"

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A special issue of Behavioral Sciences (ISSN 2076-328X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2015)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Steven J. Kirsh (Website)

Department of Psychology, SUNY-Geneseo, Geneseo, NY 14454, USA
Interests: violent media and social information processing

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleague,

From bullying to street fights to school shootings, youth violence has increasingly become a topic of concern for parents, teachers, policy makers, and researchers alike. This Special Issue investigates the causes and consequences of aggression/violence (broadly defined) in children and/or adolescents. Articles appropriate for this issue include theoretical critiques, literature reviews, and empirical studies. Contributions should focus on one or more of the many causes (e.g., parenting, peers, media, neighborhood environment) and/or consequences (e.g., attitudes, cognitions, behavior, emotions, mental health) of aggression/violence during some period of childhood and adolescence.

Dr. Steven J. Kirsh
Guest Editor

Submission

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Behavioral Sciences is an international peer-reviewed Open Access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 300 CHF (Swiss Francs). English correction and/or formatting fees of 250 CHF (Swiss Francs) will be charged in certain cases for those articles accepted for publication that require extensive additional formatting and/or English corrections.

Keywords

  • aggression
  • violence
  • causes
  • consequences
  • children
  • adolescents

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Adolescent Pornography Use and Dating Violence among a Sample of Primarily Black and Hispanic, Urban-Residing, Underage Youth
Behav. Sci. 2016, 6(1), 1; doi:10.3390/bs6010001
Received: 13 November 2015 / Revised: 14 December 2015 / Accepted: 16 December 2015 / Published: 23 December 2015
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Abstract
This cross-sectional study was designed to characterize the pornography viewing preferences of a sample of U.S.-based, urban-residing, economically disadvantaged, primarily Black and Hispanic youth (n = 72), and to assess whether pornography use was associated with experiences of adolescent dating abuse [...] Read more.
This cross-sectional study was designed to characterize the pornography viewing preferences of a sample of U.S.-based, urban-residing, economically disadvantaged, primarily Black and Hispanic youth (n = 72), and to assess whether pornography use was associated with experiences of adolescent dating abuse (ADA) victimization. The sample was recruited from a large, urban, safety net hospital, and participants were 53% female, 59% Black, 19% Hispanic, 14% Other race, 6% White, and 1% Native American. All were 16–17 years old. More than half (51%) had been asked to watch pornography together by a dating or sexual partner, and 44% had been asked to do something sexual that a partner saw in pornography. Adolescent dating abuse (ADA) victimization was associated with more frequent pornography use, viewing pornography in the company of others, being asked to perform a sexual act that a partner first saw in pornography, and watching pornography during or after marijuana use. Approximately 50% of ADA victims and 32% of non-victims reported that they had been asked to do a sexual act that their partner saw in pornography (p = 0.15), and 58% did not feel happy to have been asked. Results suggest that weekly pornography use among underage, urban-residing youth may be common, and may be associated with ADA victimization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Youth Aggression and Violence: Causes and Consequences)
Open AccessArticle Types of Relational Aggression in Girls Are Differentiated by Callous-Unemotional Traits, Peers and Parental Overcontrol
Behav. Sci. 2015, 5(4), 518-536; doi:10.3390/bs5040518
Received: 11 September 2015 / Revised: 20 October 2015 / Accepted: 10 November 2015 / Published: 13 November 2015
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Abstract
Adolescent girls often perpetrate aggression by gossiping and spreading rumours about others, by attempting to ruin relationships and by manipulating and excluding others. Further, males and females engage in reactive and proactive relational aggression differently. In this study, we examined the individual, [...] Read more.
Adolescent girls often perpetrate aggression by gossiping and spreading rumours about others, by attempting to ruin relationships and by manipulating and excluding others. Further, males and females engage in reactive and proactive relational aggression differently. In this study, we examined the individual, peer and parental contextual factors that best explained the use of reactive and proactive relational aggression in girls. Female participants (n = 614; ages 11–18 years) completed questionnaires on aggression, callous-unemotional (CU) traits, delinquency, peer delinquency, gender composition of their peer group, resistance to peer influence and perceived parental overcontrol. Multinomial logistic regression was used to examine the effects of individual, peer- and parent-related variables on the likelihood of being classified as a low aggressor, reactive aggressor or proactive/reactive aggressor. Girls in the combined reactive/proactive aggression group were younger, had greater CU traits, a lower proportion of male peers and greater perception of parental control than both the reactive and low aggressive groups. Both highly aggressive groups were more delinquent and had greater peer delinquency than the low aggressive group. This study suggests those girls who show relational aggression for the purpose of gaining status and revenge feel restrained by their parents and may gravitate toward relationships that support their behaviour. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Youth Aggression and Violence: Causes and Consequences)
Figures

Open AccessArticle “Bad Romance”: Links between Psychological and Physical Aggression and Relationship Functioning in Adolescent Couples
Behav. Sci. 2015, 5(2), 305-323; doi:10.3390/bs5020305
Received: 16 February 2015 / Revised: 4 May 2015 / Accepted: 20 May 2015 / Published: 9 June 2015
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Abstract
Assortative mating is an important issue in explaining antisocial, aggressive behavior. It is yet unclear, whether the similarity paradigm fully explains frequent displays of aggression in adolescents’ romantic relationships. In a sample of 194 romantic partner dyads, differences between female and male [...] Read more.
Assortative mating is an important issue in explaining antisocial, aggressive behavior. It is yet unclear, whether the similarity paradigm fully explains frequent displays of aggression in adolescents’ romantic relationships. In a sample of 194 romantic partner dyads, differences between female and male partners’ reports of aggression (psychological and physical) and different measures of relationship functioning (e.g., jealousy, conflicts, and the affiliative and romantic quality of the relationship) were assessed. A hierarchical cluster analysis identified five distinct subgroups of dyads based on male and female reports of psychological and physical aggression: nonaggressive couples, couples with higher perceived aggressiveness (both physical and psychological) by females, couples with higher aggressiveness perceived by males and mutually aggressive couples. A substantial number of non-aggressive dyads emerged. Of note was the high number of females showing one-sided aggression, which was, however, not countered by their partner. The mutually aggressive couples showed the least adaptive relationship functioning, with a lack of supportive, trusting relationship qualities, high conflict rates and high jealousy. The discussion focuses on the different functions of aggression in these early romantic relations, and the aggravating impact of mutual aggression on relationship functioning and its potential antisocial outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Youth Aggression and Violence: Causes and Consequences)
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Open AccessArticle Teachers’ Perceptions of Bullying of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning (LGBTQ) Students in a Southwestern Pennsylvania Sample
Behav. Sci. 2015, 5(2), 247-263; doi:10.3390/bs5020247
Received: 15 February 2015 / Accepted: 15 May 2015 / Published: 28 May 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (603 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study was designed to ascertain teachers’ perceptions of bullying of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning (LGBTQ) youth. In a sample of 200 educators (61.0% female; 96.5% White) from a county in southwestern Pennsylvania, there was a significant positive relationship between [...] Read more.
This study was designed to ascertain teachers’ perceptions of bullying of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning (LGBTQ) youth. In a sample of 200 educators (61.0% female; 96.5% White) from a county in southwestern Pennsylvania, there was a significant positive relationship between the teachers’ perceptions of the supportiveness of school staff towards students regardless of sexual orientation and those teachers’ reports of the frequency of bullying victimization experienced by LGBTQ students. Teachers’ perceptions of a higher level of staff and student support was associated with higher reported frequencies of students’ use of derogatory language about LGBTQ individuals and various types of bullying of LGBTQ students. Teachers with a lesbian, gay, or bisexual orientation were found to rate the school staff and students as significantly less supportive of students regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression in comparison to heterosexual teachers. Finally, teachers who either were unaware of or believed that their school lacked an anti-bullying policy reported significantly higher rates of physical bullying victimization of LGBTQ students when compared to the rates observed by teachers who reported knowledge of their schools’ anti-bullying policies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Youth Aggression and Violence: Causes and Consequences)
Open AccessArticle Rumble: Prevalence and Correlates of Group Fighting among Adolescents in the United States
Behav. Sci. 2015, 5(2), 214-229; doi:10.3390/bs5020214
Received: 10 February 2015 / Revised: 7 April 2015 / Accepted: 27 April 2015 / Published: 4 May 2015
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (126 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Objective. Group fighting is portrayed as a piece of Americana among delinquent youth, but the behavior produces significant multifaceted negative consequences. The current study examines the heterogeneity and correlates of group fighting using national-level data. Method. Employing data from the National Survey [...] Read more.
Objective. Group fighting is portrayed as a piece of Americana among delinquent youth, but the behavior produces significant multifaceted negative consequences. The current study examines the heterogeneity and correlates of group fighting using national-level data. Method. Employing data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health between 2002 and 2013 (n = 216,852), we examine links between group fighting and temperamental, parental, and academic factors as well as other externalizing behaviors (i.e., violence, crime, substance use). Results. The prevalence of group fighting in the United States is 14.8% with 11.33% reporting 1–2 group fights and 3.46% reporting 3+ group fights. A clear severity gradient in school functioning and academic performance, sensation seeking, parental disengagement, violence and delinquency, and substance use disorders is seen in the normative, episodic, and repeat offender groups. Conclusions. Youths who participate in 3+ group fights display the exceptionality and severity of other serious/chronic/habitual antisocial youth which suggests that group fighting should be considered a significant indicator of developing criminality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Youth Aggression and Violence: Causes and Consequences)
Open AccessArticle Resilience in Physically Abused Children: Protective Factors for Aggression
Behav. Sci. 2015, 5(2), 176-189; doi:10.3390/bs5020176
Received: 13 February 2015 / Revised: 16 March 2015 / Accepted: 20 April 2015 / Published: 27 April 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (141 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Aggression continues to be a serious problem among children, especially those children who have experienced adverse life events such as maltreatment. However, there are many maltreated children who show resilient functioning. This study investigated potential protective factors (i.e., child prosocial [...] Read more.
Aggression continues to be a serious problem among children, especially those children who have experienced adverse life events such as maltreatment. However, there are many maltreated children who show resilient functioning. This study investigated potential protective factors (i.e., child prosocial skills, child internalizing well-being, and caregiver well-being) that promoted positive adaptation and increased the likelihood of a child engaging in the healthy, normative range of aggressive behavior, despite experiencing physical maltreatment. Logistic regression analyses were conducted using two waves of data from the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being (NSCAW-I). Children who were physically maltreated were more likely to exhibit clinical levels of aggressive behavior at Time 1 than children who were not physically maltreated. Children’s internalizing well-being, children’s prosocial behavior, and caregivers’ well-being were associated with lower likelihood of clinical levels of aggressive behavior at Time 1. Children’s internalizing well-being and children’s prosocial behavior remained significantly associated with nonclinical aggression 18 months later. These findings highlight the role of protective factors in fostering positive and adaptive behaviors in maltreated children. Interventions focusing on preventing early aggression and reinforcing child prosocial skills, child internalizing well-being, and caregiver well-being may be promising in promoting healthy positive behavioral adjustment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Youth Aggression and Violence: Causes and Consequences)
Open AccessArticle The Impact of Childhood Emotional Abuse and Experiential Avoidance on Maladaptive Problem Solving and Intimate Partner Violence
Behav. Sci. 2015, 5(2), 154-175; doi:10.3390/bs5020154
Received: 16 February 2015 / Revised: 10 April 2015 / Accepted: 13 April 2015 / Published: 16 April 2015
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Abstract
The purpose of the current study was to examine the joint influences of experiential avoidance and social problem solving on the link between childhood emotional abuse (CEA) and intimate partner violence (IPV). Experiential avoidance following CEA may interfere with a person’s ability [...] Read more.
The purpose of the current study was to examine the joint influences of experiential avoidance and social problem solving on the link between childhood emotional abuse (CEA) and intimate partner violence (IPV). Experiential avoidance following CEA may interfere with a person’s ability to effectively problem solve in social situations, increasing risk for conflict and interpersonal violence. As part of a larger study, 232 women recruited from the community completed measures assessing childhood emotional, physical, and sexual abuse, experiential avoidance, maladaptive social problem solving, and IPV perpetration and victimization. Final trimmed models indicated that CEA was indirectly associated with IPV victimization and perpetration via experiential avoidance and Negative Problem Orientation (NPO) and Impulsivity/Carelessness Style (ICS) social problem solving strategies. Though CEA was related to an Avoidance Style (AS) social problem solving strategy, this strategy was not significantly associated with IPV victimization or perpetration. Experiential avoidance had both a direct and indirect effect, via NPO and ICS social problem solving, on IPV victimization and perpetration. Findings suggest that CEA may lead some women to avoid unwanted internal experiences, which may adversely impact their ability to effectively problem solve in social situations and increase IPV risk. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Youth Aggression and Violence: Causes and Consequences)

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