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Risk and Direct Protective Factors for Youth Violence: Results from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health

Bernat, Debra H.,
Oakes, J. Michael,
Pettingell, Sandra L.,
Resnick, Michael
Journal Article
Year Published: 2012
Elsevier Inc.
American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 43(2S1): S57-S66, August 2012.
The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (Grant No. P01-HD31921)

These authors explored whether determinants of violence operate as risk factors, direct protective factors, or both during adolescence and young adulthood. Using data from participants in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, they examined individual, family, school, peer, and community factors at age 13 years as predictors of violence involvement at ages 14 years and 18-20 years. Risk for violence at age 14 was increased by earlier attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms, low school connectedness, low grade-point average, and high peer delinquency. Direct protective factors for youth violence at age 14 included low ADHD symptoms, low emotional distress, high educational aspirations, and high grade-point averages. Bivariate analyses showed a lower risk of violence among youth aged 18-20 who reported low peer delinquency at age 13 years. Multiple logistic regression analyses predicting violence involvement showed direct protective effects for low ADHD symptoms and low emotional distress at age 14, and a direct protective effect for low peer delinquency at ages 18-20, after controlling for demographic characteristics. Modified Author Abstract.

Correspondence to: Debra H.Bernat, PhD, Assistnat Professor, Department of Medical Humanities and Social Sciences, Florida State University College of Medicine, 1115 West Call Street, Tallahassee, FL 32306; E-mail:, Website:
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