ERIC Number: ED443045
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2000-Apr-25
Relationship between Attributional Errors and At-Risk Behaviors among Juvenile Delinquents.
Daley, Christine E.; Onwuegbuzie, Anthony J.
The purpose of this study was to determine whether at-risk behaviors (e.g., substance abuse, gun ownership, sexual activity, and gang membership) are associated with violence attribution errors, as measured by Daley and Onwuegbuzie's (1995) Violence Attribution Survey, among 82 incarcerated male juvenile delinquents. Analysis revealed that the following variables contributed significantly to the prediction of the number of attributional errors made: selling drugs; believing that men have a right to expect sex from women; frequency of alcohol use; having friends who died violently; and bringing a gun to school. The present findings provide support for Daley and Onwuegbuzie's (2000) violence attribution theory, suggesting that adolescents who engage in at-risk behaviors are prone to making attributional errors. Specifically, when an adolescent engages in an antisocial behavior, the consequences of the behavior help to determine whether attributional errors will prevail. To the extent that responses to cognitive appraisals in general and attributions in particular regulate prosocial and antisocial behaviors that are mediated by emotions, interventions such as affective skills development and attribution retraining may be effective in reducing the onset of at-risk behaviors among adolescents. This occurs primarily because these interventions are addressing antecedents of at-risk behaviors at an earlier stage of the cue-attribution-emotion-behavior-attribution cycle, and therefore have the potential not only to reduce at-risk behaviors, but also to help adolescents develop more adaptive emotions. (Contains 22 references.) (MKA)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the American Educational Research Association (New Orleans, LA, April 24-28, 2000).