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ERIC Number: EJ882933
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jun
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9630
Entry Risk into the Juvenile Justice System: African American, American Indian, Asian American, European American, and Hispanic Children and Adolescents
Vazsonyi, Alexander T.; Chen, Pan
Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, v51 n6 p668-678 Jun 2010
Background: Findings on disproportionate minority contact remain mixed. Few empirical studies have examined to what extent entry risk into juvenile justice varies across ethnic/racial groups, and to what extent childhood aggressive behaviors foretell later deviance and entry risk. In the current study, we sought to address these shortcomings by implementing a survival analysis on a representative sample of youth followed from age 8 to 18. Methods: The sample included N = 2,754 lower to lower-middle SES youth from five different ethnic/racial groups (African American, American Indian, Asian American, European American, and Hispanic youth), part of a large-scale violence prevention effort. Aggressive behaviors were rated by teachers during elementary school, entry risk into juvenile justice was measured by official data, while SES was based on census data. Results: Developmental entry risk into the juvenile justice system peaked at age 14 and subsequently declined. No differences were found across the four racial groups; however, Hispanic youth were at elevated risk (by 73%). Only childhood physical aggressive behavior increased entry risk (by 87%); this was above and beyond a "simple" maturational liability we found and net any effects by sex, race/ethnicity, and SES. Conclusions: Some evidence suggested disproportionate minority contact, but only for Hispanic youth. Entry risk was invariant by race, but differed for males versus females and for youth from relatively higher socioeconomic status (SES) strata compared to youth from lower ones. Intervention efforts should target physically aggressive children during the elementary school years; however, some of the evidence also suggests that there exists a "maturational liability" developmentally over time, between the ages of 8 and 18, independent of any of the focal predictors tested.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A