, Volume 28, Issue 1, pp 83-103

The Relation of Perceived Neighborhood Danger to Childhood Aggression: A Test of Mediating Mechanisms

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Abstract

In the current study, two mediational mechanisms, parenting practices and children's beliefs about aggression, were hypothesized to account for the relationship between perceived neighborhood danger and childhood aggression. Using structural equation modeling, data were analyzed from an inner-city school-based sample of 732 predominantly African American 5th graders. Results suggested that perceived neighborhood danger was associated with strong positive beliefs about aggression, which in turn was associated with high levels of aggression. The hypothesized mediating role of parenting practices (restrictive discipline, parental monitoring, and parental involvement) on the relation between perceived neighborhood danger and child aggression was not supported. However, the current findings suggest that children's positive beliefs about aggression mediated the relationship between restrictive discipline and aggression. Directions for future research are discussed.