Retaliatory Attitudes and Violent Behaviors Among Assault-Injured Youth
These authors examined the effect of retaliatory attitudes on subsequent violent behavior and fight-related injuries among youth who presented to the emergency department with assault injuries. Assault-injured youth (n=129; age 10-15 years) were recruited from two emergency room departments in urban areas. The youth were interviewed at baseline, 6 months, and 18 months to assess fighting behavior, retaliatory attitudes, weapon carrying, and injury history as part of a larger randomized control trial. Results show that higher retaliatory attitudes at baseline were associated with more aggression and a higher frequency of fighting over time. The findings suggest that retaliatory attitudes may fuel cycles of violence among youth. Medical professionals in acute care settings have an opportunity to identify youths at risk of future assault injury by assessing retaliation, providing anticipatory guidance, and referring to intervention programs. Modified Author Abstract.