Advertisement

Beliefs and Practices of the Parents of Violent and Oppositional Adolescents: An Ecological Perspective

  • Catherine P. Bradshaw
  • Brian A. Glaser
  • Georgia B. Calhoun
  • Jeffrey M. Bates
Article

Parenting is a transactional process, influenced by the child’s behavior and the environmental context. The present study explores the beliefs and practices of parents of aggressive and oppositional adolescents to understand better the relation among parenting practices, context, and youth violence. Parents of juvenile offenders (N=203) completed assessments of youths’ violent and oppositional behaviors, community violence exposure, and their own beliefs and parenting behaviors and perceptions of the juvenile justice system. Parents of youth with the highest levels of violent and oppositional behavior problems reported elevated feelings of hopelessness regarding the child’s future, inadequacy as a parent, fear of physical harm by the child, anger toward the child, as well as difficulty monitoring the child. All parents reported relatively high levels of perceived support by the justice system. Parental stress was also examined as a possible influence on the parents’ beliefs and behaviors regarding the child. Results suggest that parents’ emotional and behavioral responses should be addressed when intervening with juvenile offenders.

Editors’ Strategic Implications: The authors present evidence to suggest that parents’ perceptions of hopelessness/inadequacy and their fear for their child’s safety are both by-products of life with an aggressive child as well as contributing factors to that aggressive behavior. Thus, successful interventions must both target the parents as change agents in the youth’s life but also include a strong parental support component, so that parents will have an opportunity to orchestrate positive impacts in high-risk environments.

KEY WORDS:

parenting delinquency youth violence prevention juvenile justice community violence exposure 

REFERENCES

  1. Achenbach, T. M., McConaughy, S. H., & Howell, C. T. (1987). Child/adolescent behavioral and emotional problems: Implications of cross-informant correlations for situational specificity. Psychological Bulletin, 101(2), 213–232.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Alexander, J., Barton, C., Gordon, D., Grotpeter, J., Hansson, K., Harrison, R., et al. (1998). Blueprints for violence prevention, book three: Functional Family Therapy. Boulder, CO: Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence.Google Scholar
  3. American Psychiatric Association (1994). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (DSM-IV) (4th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.Google Scholar
  4. Anderson, C., Berkowitz, L., Donnerstein, E., Huesmann, L. R., Johnson, J., Linz, D., et al. (2003). The influence of media violence on youth. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 4(3), 81–110.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bell, C. C., & Jenkins, E. J. (1993). Community violence and children on Chicago’s Southside. Psychiatry, 56, 46–54.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Bronfenbrenner, U., & Morris, P. (1998). The ecology of developmental processes. In W. Damon (Ed.), Handbook of child psychology: Theoretical models of human development Vol. 1 (pp. 993–1028). New York: John Wiley & Sons.Google Scholar
  7. Calhoun, G. B., Glaser, B. A., & Bartolomucci, C. L. (2001). The juvenile counseling and assessment model and program: A conceptualization and intervention for juvenile delinquency. Journal of Counseling and Development, 79(2), 131–141.Google Scholar
  8. Cohen, P., Glaser, B. A., Calhoun, G. B., Bradshaw, C. P., & Petrocelli, J. V. (2005). Examining readiness for change: A preliminary evaluation of the University of Rhode Island Change Assessment (URICA) with incarcerated adolescents. Measurement and Evaluation in Counseling and Development, 38(1), 45–62.Google Scholar
  9. Collins, W. A., Maccoby, E. E., Steinberg, L., Hetherington, E. M., & Bornstein, M. H. (2000). Contemporary research on parenting: The case for nature and nurture. American Psychologist, 55(2), 218–232.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Deater-Deckard, K., Dodge, K. A., Bates, J. E., & Pettit, G. S. (1996). Physical discipline among African American and European American mothers: Links to children’s externalizing behaviors. Developmental Psychology, 32(6), 1065–1072.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. DiLalla, L. F., Mitchell, C. M., Arthur, M. W., & Pagliocca, P. M. (1988). Aggression and delinquency: Family and environmental factors. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 17, 233–246.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Dishion, T. J., & McMahon, R. J. (1998). Parental monitoring and the prevention of child and adolescent problem behavior: A conceptual and empirical formulation. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 1(1), 61–75.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Evans, E. D., & Warren-Sohlberg, L. (1988). A pattern analysis of adolescent abusive behavior toward parents. Journal of Adolescent Research, 3(2), 201–216.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division (n.d.) (2003). The structure of family violence: An analysis of selected incidents. Retrieved April 20, 2003, from http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/nibrs/famvio21.pdf.
  15. Furstenberg, F., Eccles, J., Elder, G., Cook, T., & Sameroff, A. (1997). Managing to make it. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  16. Garbarino, J. (1995). Raising children in a socially toxic environment. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  17. Garbarino, J., & Bedard, C. (2001). Parents under siege. New York: Simon & Schuster.Google Scholar
  18. Garbarino, J., Bradshaw, C. P., & Kostelny, K. (2005). Neighborhood and community influences on parenting. In T. Luster & L. Okagaki (Eds.), Parenting: An ecological perspective (2nd ed) (pp. 297–318). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  19. Gest, S. D., Neeman, J., Hubbard, J. J., & Masten, A. S. (1993). Parenting quality, adversity, and conduct problems in adolescence: Testing process-oriented models of resilience. Development & Psychopathology, 5, 663–682.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Glaser, B. A., Calhoun, G. B., Bradshaw, C. P., Bates, J. M., & Socherman, R. E. (2001). Multi-observer assessment of problem behavior in adjudicated youths: Patterns of discrepancies. Child and Family Behavior Therapy, 23(2), 33–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hahn, R. A., Lowy, J., Bilukha, O., Snyder, S., Briss, P., Crosby, A., et al. (2004). Therapeutic foster care for the prevention of violence: A report on recommendations of the Task Force on Community Preventive Services. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 53(No. RR-10), 1–8. Retrieved December 17, 2006, from http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5310a1.htm.
  22. Harbin, H. T., & Madden, D. J. (1979). Battered parents: A new syndrome. American Journal of Psychiatry, 136, 1288–1291.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Henggeler, S. W., Mihalic, S. F., Rone, L., Thomas, C., & Timmons-Mitchell, J. (1998). Blueprints for violence prevention, book six: Multisystemic Therapy. Boulder, CO: Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence.Google Scholar
  24. Kerr, M., & Stattin, H. (2000). What parents know, how they know it, and several forms of adolescent adjustment: Further support for a reinterpretation of monitoring. Developmental Psychology, 36(3), 366–380.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Kratcoski, P. C. (1985). Youth violence directed toward significant others. Journal of Adolescence, 8(2), 145–157.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Loeber, R., & Farrington, D. P. (Eds.). (1998). Serious and violent juvenile offenders: Risk factors and successful interventions. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  27. Mihalic, S., Fagan, A., Irwin, K., Ballard, D., & Elliott, D. (2004). Blueprints for violence prevention [Publication No. NCJ 204274]. Washington, DC: Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.Google Scholar
  28. Mak, A. (1996). Adolescent delinquency and perceptions of parental care and protection: A case control study. Journal of Family Studies, 2, 29–39.Google Scholar
  29. Osofsky, J. (1995). The effect of exposure to violence on young children. American Psychologist, 50(9), 782–788.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Osofsky, J. D. (Ed.). (1997). Children in a violent society. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  31. Patterson, G. R. (1982). Coercive family process: A social learning approach (Vol. 3). Eugene, Oregon: Castalia.Google Scholar
  32. Patterson, G. R., DeBaryshe, B. D., & Ramsey, E. (1989). A developmental perspective on antisocial behavior. American Psychologist, 44(2), 329–335.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. Reid, J. B., Patterson, G. R., & Snyder, J. (2002). Antisocial behavior in children and adolescents: A developmental analysis and model for intervention. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.Google Scholar
  34. Rose, C. C., Glaser, B. A., Calhoun, G. B., & Bates, J. M. (2004). Assessing the parents of juvenile offenders: A preliminary validation study of the Juvenile Offender Parent Questionnaire. Child & Family Behavior Therapy, 26(1), 25–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Scales, P. C., Benson, P. L., Leffert, N., & Blyth, D. A. (2000). Contribution of developmental assets to the prediction of thriving among adolescents. Applied Developmental Science, 4(1), 27–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Sherman, L. W., Gottfredson, D. C., MacKenzie, D. L., Eck, J., Reuter, P., & Bushway, S. D. (1998). Preventing crime: What works, what doesn’t, what’s promising. Washington, DC: National Institute of Justice.Google Scholar
  37. Steinberg, L. (2001). We know some things: Parent-adolescent relationships in retrospect and prospect. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 11(1), 1–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Thornberry, T. P., & Krohn, M. D. (1997). Peers, drug use, and delinquency. In D. M. Stoff, J. Breiling, & J. D. Maser (Eds.), Handbook of antisocial behavior (pp. 218–233). New York: John Wiley and Sons.Google Scholar
  39. Tolan, P. H., Gorman-Smith, D., & Henry, D. B. (2003). The developmental ecology of urban males’ youth violence. Developmental Psychology, 39(2), 274–291.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. Tremblay, R., & Craig, W. (1995). Developmental crime prevention. In M. Tonry & D. Farrington (Eds.), Building a safer society. Vol. 19: Crime and justice (pp. 151–236). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  41. Villarreal, A. (2004). The social ecology of rural violence: Land scarcity, the organization of agricultural production, and the presence of the state. American Journal of Sociology, 110(2), 313–348.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Wasserman, G., Miller, L. S., Pinner, E., & Jaramillo, B. (1996). Parenting predictors of early conduct problems in urban, high-risk boys. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 35, 1227–1236.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  43. Webster-Stratton, C., Mihalic, S., Fagan, A., Arnold, D., Taylor, T., & Tingley, C. (2001). Blueprints for violence prevention, book eleven: The Incredible Years: Parent, teacher and child training series. Boulder, CO: Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence.Google Scholar
  44. Weitzer, R., & Tuch, S. A. (1999). Race, class, and perceptions of discrimination by the police. Crime and Delinquency, 45(4), 494–507.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Zielinski, D. S. & Bradshaw, C. P. (2006). Ecological influences on the sequelae of child maltreatment: A review of the literature. Child Maltreatment, 11(1), 49–62.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Catherine P. Bradshaw
    • 1
    • 3
  • Brian A. Glaser
    • 2
  • Georgia B. Calhoun
    • 2
  • Jeffrey M. Bates
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Mental HealthJohns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public HealthBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Department of Counseling and Human Development ServicesUniversity of GeorgiaGeorgiaUSA
  3. 3.Department of Mental HealthJohns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public HealthBaltimoreUSA

Personalised recommendations