Assessing Attitudes Towards Violence Among African American Male Youth: The Influence of Ecological Factors.

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Title: Assessing Attitudes Towards Violence Among African American Male Youth: The Influence of Ecological Factors.
Author: Carr, Jamal
Advisors: Dr. Marsha Alibrandi, Committee Member
Dr. Denis Gray, Committee Member
Dr. Craig Brookins, Committee Chair
Abstract: Over the last few decades the issue of youth violence has continued to be a major concern in the Unites States. Due to the prevalence of violence in communities, schools, and homes, more emphasis has been placed on building youth competencies in conflict resolution and anger management. One of the major problems facing violence prevention program developers is determining whether programs should target youth or youth environments. A common attitude held by some individuals is that youth are the problem. As a result many programs target youth and underestimate the influence of the environment on their attitudes towards violence. In order to develop appropriate violence prevention programs, it is essential to understand the ecological context in which violent attitudes are fostered. The present study examined youths' attitudes towards violence within an ecological context in a sample of 151 African American adolescent males in North Carolina afterschool programs. Participants completed a 62-item survey that was comprised of the Neighborhood Characteristics Questionnaire, the Authoritative Parenting Index, the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale and the Attitudes Towards Violence Scale. It was hypothesized that neighborhood characteristics, parenting styles, and self-esteem would significantly correlate with youths' attitudes towards violence. Significant correlations were found between neighborhood disorder, parental responsiveness and demandingness, and youths' attitudes towards violence. Findings are discussed as they relate to current literature on youth violence along with the limitations and implications for this study.
Date: 2004-04-16
Degree: MS
Discipline: Psychology

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