Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Violent Boys In Unsafe Conditions Less Prone To Depression

Date:
June 21, 2005
Source:
Cornell University
Summary:
Violent adolescent boys in neighborhoods where they routinely witness violence tend to be less depressed than other violent youths, says a new study by Raymond Swisher of Cornell University and former student Robert D. Latzman. The study is published in the Journal of Community Psychology (33: 355-371, May 2005).

ITHACA, N.Y. -- Researchers have known for some time that violent adolescents tend to become more depressed over time than other adolescents. And young people living in violent neighborhoods also are more subject to depression. But violent adolescent boys who also live in unsafe neighborhoods where they witness violent acts do not appear to get as depressed.

Related Articles


According to a new Cornell University study, being aggressive in the context of community violence could be an adaptive strategy that preserves adolescents' sense of control in a volatile and unpredictable environment. "This may seem counter intuitive, that violence in a violent context could be somewhat protective for psychological well-being among adolescent boys," said Raymond Swisher, assistant professor of policy analysis and management at Cornell.

To examine the interactive relationships among adolescent violence, street violence and depression, Swisher and Robert D. Latzman '03, now a graduate student in clinical psychology at the University of Iowa, analyzed data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, a nationally representative sample of 8,939 adolescents in grades 7 to 12; data on the adolescents was collected twice, once in 1995 and again in 1996.

The research, which was the basis of Latzman's senior honors thesis when he was an undergraduate student in the College of Human Ecology at Cornell, is published in a recent issue of the Journal of Community Psychology (33: 355-371, May 2005). It also was presented at the American Psychological Society's annual meeting in May 2004.

"The consequences of community violence are widespread," said Swisher. "Exposure to community violence destroys the notion that homes, schools and communities are safe places, and youths exposed to community violence have higher rates of emotional, behavioral and cognitive problems. Witnessing community violence has emerged as a risk factor for all kinds of problems, from depression and post-traumatic stress symptoms to suicidal behaviors, aggression and violence."

It was somewhat surprising, therefore, to find that acting violently could be protective against the effects of community violence, Swisher said. Violence was defined as getting into a physical fight, pulling a knife or gun, shooting or stabbing someone, seriously injuring someone or taking part in a group fight.

However, the protective factor was found only among males, and the older the males, the stronger the effect. On the other hand, adolescent girls who act violently tend to become more depressed, and the more violent their environments are, the deeper their depression, said Swisher, who noted that American adolescents are increasingly exposed to violence.

"While U.S. crime rates have declined steadily in recent years, adolescents comprise one segment of the population that continues to be plagued with the problem of violence," said Swisher. "So much so, that some consider violence a public health epidemic for today's youth."

The study was funded, in part, by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cornell University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Cornell University. "Violent Boys In Unsafe Conditions Less Prone To Depression." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 June 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/06/050621074713.htm>.
Cornell University. (2005, June 21). Violent Boys In Unsafe Conditions Less Prone To Depression. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 30, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/06/050621074713.htm
Cornell University. "Violent Boys In Unsafe Conditions Less Prone To Depression." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/06/050621074713.htm (accessed January 30, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Friday, January 30, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Binge-Watching TV Linked To Loneliness

Binge-Watching TV Linked To Loneliness

Newsy (Jan. 29, 2015) Researchers at University of Texas at Austin found a link between binge-watching TV shows and feelings of loneliness and depression. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Signs You Might Be The Passive Aggressive Friend

Signs You Might Be The Passive Aggressive Friend

BuzzFeed (Jan. 28, 2015) "No, I&apos;m not mad. Why, are you mad?" Video provided by BuzzFeed
Powered by NewsLook.com
City Divided: A Look at Model Schools in the TDSB

City Divided: A Look at Model Schools in the TDSB

The Toronto Star (Jan. 27, 2015) Model schools are rethinking how they engage with the community to help enhance the lives of the students and their parents. Video provided by The Toronto Star
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Saves Pennies For 65 Years

Man Saves Pennies For 65 Years

Rooftop Comedy (Jan. 26, 2015) A man in Texas saved every penny he found for 65 years, and this week he finally cashed them in. Bank tellers at Prosperity Bank in Slaton, Texas were shocked when Ira Keys arrived at their bank with over 500 pounds of loose pennies stored in coffee cans. After more than an hour of sorting and counting, it turned out the 81 year-old was in possession of 81,600 pennies, or $816. And he&apos;s got more at home! Video provided by Rooftop Comedy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins