Temperament, home environment, and social competence differences between aggressive and non-aggressive adolescent males
Thompson, Heidi Marie Myers
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The current study hypothesized that adolescent violence could be predicted by social processing skill, temperament, and family environment. Participants included one hundred twenty-four adolescent males aged thirteen to eighteen years. The nonviolent group consisted of adolescents who were enrolled in public school and had not been in a fight in the previous twelve months. The violent group consisted of adolescents who were incarcerated in a juvenile detention facility for committing violent crimes. Social processing was measured by viewing video-taped scenarios and completing a questionnaire measuring four of Dodge's five steps involved in processing social information. Family environment was measured using the FES, selfreport form. Temperament was measured using the DOTS-R, self-report form developed by Windle. A predictive discriminant analysis indicated that group means on the social processing measure were significant. Family environment and temperament did not differ between the two groups. The unexpected results are likely due to recruitment of participants, the changes in demographics of incarcerated adolescents, and the lack of mediating effects of temperament and family on adolescents who commit violent crimes.