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 27, 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 27, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How Technology Is Ruining Snow Days For Students

How Technology Is Ruining Snow Days For Students

Newsy (Jan. 25, 2015) More schools are using online classes to keep from losing time to snow days, but it only works if students have Internet access at home. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Weird Things Couples Do When They Lose Their Phone

Weird Things Couples Do When They Lose Their Phone

BuzzFeed (Jan. 24, 2015) Did you back it up? Do you even know how to do that? Video provided by BuzzFeed
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 23, 2015) A Boston start-up is developing a wristband they say will help users break bad habits by jolting them with an electric shock. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Amazing Technology Allows Blind Mother to See Her Newborn Son

Amazing Technology Allows Blind Mother to See Her Newborn Son

RightThisMinute (Jan. 23, 2015) Not only is Kathy seeing her newborn son for the first time, but this is actually the first time she has ever seen a baby. Kathy and her sister, Yvonne, have been legally blind since childhood, but thanks to an amazing new technology, eSight glasses, which gives those who are legally blind the ability to see, she got the chance to see the birth of her son. It&apos;s an incredible moment and an even better story. Video provided by RightThisMinute
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