Desistance: Ecological Factors in an Inner-City Sample

Desistance: Ecological Factors in an Inner-City Sample

Desistance: Ecological Factors in an Inner-City Sample

Desistance: Ecological Factors in an Inner-City Sample

Synopsis

Aiyer aims to improve our understanding about exposure to risk and promotive factors in individual, family, and neighborhood domains during adolescence on desistance in early adulthood. She seeks to identify factors that distinguish high-risk, inner-city males who desisted from those who continued to offend. She finds that aggression, discipline practices, and exposure to neighborhood violence predicted desistance. Further, discipline altered the effect of aggression, suggesting that parenting may play a complex role in the lives of aggressive, inner-city male youth. Overall, the research supports a developmental-ecological theoretical perspective to studying antisocial behavior. Findings additionally suggest that programs designed to improve parent-child dynamics would benefit at-risk youth.

Excerpt

In the present study, we examined the influence of individual, family, and neighborhood factors during adolescence on desistance from antisocial behavior in early adulthood. Although a preponderance of literature exists on risk factors for the development of antisocial behavior, less is known about predicting desistance from crime. Therefore, we examined the direct, indirect, and interactive influence of ecological factors on desistance in a sample of low-income, urban males followed from early adolescence into early adulthood. Binary logistic regression techniques were used to test our hypotheses.

Results supported predictions for the roles of aggression, parental discipline, and exposure to neighborhood violence in predicting desistance. Yet, aggression became a non-significant predictor after accounting for family and neighborhood factors, suggesting the possibility that risk could be explained by additional, intervening variables. Furthermore, discipline moderated the effect of aggression on desistance in aggressive youth. Mother’s antisocial behavior partially explained the effect of aggression on desistance, emphasizing the powerful role of parenting behavior. Mother’s antisocial behavior also moderated the effect of discipline, indicating that disciplinary parenting no longer had a positive influence . . .

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