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The Cambridge Handbook of Violent Behavior and Aggression

The Cambridge Handbook of Violent Behavior and Aggression


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The Cambridge Handbook of Violent Behavior and Aggression

Violence is a complex behavior that manifests itself every day in acts of terrorism, through exposure in the media, and in our families and neighborhoods. Understanding the origins of violent behavior and aggression, its developmental course, and its impact on individuals and societies will allow us to develop appropriate preventative interventions and policies that will affect us in our everyday lives. This handbook is unique in its depth of coverage of violence and aggressive behavior, its multidisciplinary focus, and its presentation of cutting-edge research by the leading authors in the field.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780521607858
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 09/03/2007
Series: Cambridge Handbooks in Psychology
Edition description: Older Edition
Pages: 838
Product dimensions: 7.09(w) x 9.92(h) x 1.42(d)

About the Author

Dr Flannery is currently Professor of Justice Studies and Director of the Institute for the Study and Prevenetion of Violence at Kent State University. He was named a University Distinguished Scholar at KSU in 2006. He is a licensed clinical psychologist and an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals of Cleveland. He is co-editor of Youth Violence: Precention, Intervention, and Social Policy (1999) and author of Violence and Mental Health in Every Day Life: Prevention and Intervention for Children and Adolescents (2006). His primary areas of research are in youth violence prevention, the link between violence and mental health, and program evaluation. He received his PhD in 1991 in Clinical-Child Psychology from the Ohio State University. His previous appointments were as Assistant Professor of Family Studies at the University of Arizona, and as Associate Professor of Child Psychiatry at Case Western. He has published over 100 empirical articles and book chapters on youth violence prevention, delinquency, and parent-adolescent relations. He has also generated over $15 million in external support for his research. He has served as a consultant to various local and national organizations including the US Departments of Justice and Education, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Crime Prevention Council, and the National Resource Center for Safe Schools.

Dr Vazsonyi is currently the Professor of Human Development and Family Studies at Auburn University in Alabama. He has been a Fulbright Fellow, an Editor at the Journal of Early Adolescence, a Representative to the United Nations from Geneva and Vienna, and put on the Economic and Social Council for the American Society of Criminology. He is a reviewer for grants for the National Science Foundation, SAMHSA, the Department of Education, and reviews for over twenty journals. He has a particular interest in the application of a cross cultural and cross national comparative method of human development and violent behavior.

Dr Waldman is currently a Professor of Psychology at Emory University, Atlanta. He is a clinical psychologist with developmental interests who examines the genetic and environmental etiology of disruptive behavior disorders in childhood and adolescence. His current research explores the role of candidate genes in the development of externalizing behavior problems, as well as genetic and environmental influences on comorbidity and on the links between normal variation in symptoms and in personality in the general population.

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The cambridge handbook of violent behavior and aggression
Cambridge University Press
978-0-521-84567-0 - The Cambridge Handbook of Violent Behavior and Aggression - Edited by Daniel J. Flannery, Alexander T. Vazsonyi and Irwin D. Waldman


Alexander T. Vazsonyi, Daniel J. Flannery, and Irwin D. Waldman

The current collection of essays represents a culmination of almost 3 years of intensive work and collaboration among the three editors of this volume, dedicated to compiling what we believe to be the current state of the art and science related to the study of violence and aggression. Rather than providing a preview and map of the volume, we find it more pertinent to provide in this introduction some history about the process leading up to the planning and completion of this book. In trying to develop this edited volume, it became clear that distinct expertise was required to identify interdisciplinary streams of scholarship that focused on the etiology, development, and prevention of violence and violent behaviors. We hope the chapters in this volume provide such an overview and reflect the most current thinking and research about violence.

   In early conversations at Kent State University, where Dan Flannery is the Director of the Institute for the Study and Prevention of Violence, we began to discuss how we might develop the volume. One early challenge was how to achieve the provision ofsubstantial interdisciplinary breadth, which we agreed included behavior genetics, brain imaging, comparative animal studies, criminal justice, criminology, human development, prevention sciences, and psychopharmacology. We also wanted to include perspectives from public health and sociology, as well as reviews of state-of-the-art methods that can be profitably applied to the study of violent and aggressive behaviors.

   Ultimately, we decided to focus the handbook primarily on violence and violent behaviors. Of course, this focus does not exclude aggression, but it does lend the volume a clear emphasis. This was one of the few guidelines we provided to the contributors, namely to focus primarily on violence, though not excluding relevant research on aggression and aggressive behavior. We also asked authors to cover issues related to gender and culture as part of their contribution, rather than focusing on these issues as separate substantive chapters. We thus were quite light on guidelines, leaving it to each author or team of authors to present the most important issues in their discipline, rather than superimposing an artificial template on chapter format or substantive content.

   Each of the three editors brought to this task different strengths, perspectives, and training, as well as somewhat different substantive foci and areas of scholarship. Each of us, however, shares an interest in studying violence and aggression. In no small measure, this shared interest can be traced to the profound influence of one important scholar, David Rowe, with whom each of us had the pleasure of working. David was a mentor, a departmental colleague, a collaborator, and a friend to each of us in a different way.

   David had a profound influence not only on our thinking and scholarship regarding aggression, violence, and deviance but also on our careers as scientists. His controversial style was sometimes revered, and sometimes scorned, not only on campus at the University of Arizona but also throughout social and behavioral science communities within the United States and abroad. David was a true scholar, with limited interest in politics, but with virtually infinite energy and motivation for science and the growth of knowledge. As such, David frequented the sociology/ criminology colloquia on campus and co-taught courses and collaborated with colleagues from the department of psychology. He also maintained a vibrant genetics lab, wherein Alex Vazsonyi participated in DNA sample collection and extraction and in the genotyping of candidate gene polymorphisms over a decade ago, well before the current rage. This was typical of David’s persona and professional presence, which included attendance at the annual or biennial meetings of the Behavior Genetics Association, the Society for Research in Child Development, as well as the American Society of Criminology. His highly prolific scholarship and publication record closely matched this interdisciplinary approach. At its core this approach embodied the essence of behavior genetic methods in seeking to uncover and understand the contributors to variability in aggression, violence, deviance, or delinquency, regardless of whether these influences were due to inherited differences and propensities or to socialization pressures and other experiences – something so many misunderstood about his research.

   It would be challenging indeed to identify the most integral examples of David’s scholarship. Those of greatest relevance for the current volume would include his theory of crime, published in an edited volume by Thornberry (1997), Developmental Theories of Crime and Delinquency; his own books, The Limits of Family Influence (1994) and Biology and Crime (2002); and several highly influential papers published both in developmental journals (e.g., Child Development and Developmental Psychology) and in criminology journals (e.g., Criminology and Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency). David also published seminal work on developmental processes, including his paper, “No More Than Skin Deep” published in Psychological Review (1994), as well as papers that pioneered assessments of the vertical transmission of deviance through the study of sibling resemblance. Finally, David was one of the architects of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), a research project that includes a twin sample to facilitate behavior genetic inquiry.

   In David’s spirit of being a multidiscipli-nary social and behavioral scientist, the current collection represents theoretical ad-vances and quantitative developments, as well as diverse substantive empirical app-roaches to the study of violence and aggression, broadly construed. Thus, we dedicate this volume to our colleague, mentor, and friend, David C. Rowe, for his lifetime accomplishments and contributions to the study of violence, aggression, deviance, and crime. David was truly a gentle giant who cast a long shadow over these research do-mains. It is a shadow that will follow us, and the field, for a long time to come. His contribution and dedication will not soon be forgotten.

Part I



Understanding Violence

Patrick H. Tolan

Defining and Understanding Violence

Defining Violence – I Know It
When I See It

In defining violence, the oft-quoted statement by Justice Potter Stewart (Jacobellis v. Ohio, 378 U.S. 184, 197, [1964]) on what constitutes obscene material or hard-core pornography comes to mind: “I know it when I see it.…”

   Violence, like obscenity, is generally considered undesirable, yet there is substantial variation in what is included and the features considered critical for defining it (Tolan, Gorman-Smith, & Henry, 2006). Variations that emphasize different aspects of motivation, impact, and action and of psychological, social, and political meaning lead to quite different definitions. These variations carry forward important implications for how violence is understood, how its patterns are identified, how risk factors are related, and which interventions and policies seem most appropriate. In fact, these variations can lead to different conclusions from a given set of data, testimony, and other information (Loseke, Gelles, & Cavanaugh, 2005). The lack of consensus hinders coordination and comparison between studies, programming, and policies designed to address violence, which in turn impedes the impact these interventions have on this serious public health problem. As Justice Stewart’s comment alludes, almost everyone can tell whether or not a given act or situation is violent. However, it is more difficult to identify clearly extractable characteristics that can be generalized in determining what is violent and what is not.

   This chapter briefly reviews some issues underlying the persistent variations in definitions of violence, including those offered officially by such agencies as the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control, those offered by commissions within professional organizations such as the American Psychological Association or the Institute of Medicine, and those shared by segments of researchers or policy advocates. The intent is to summarize major issues in defining violence, including identifying some commonly recognized categories. This review is followed by a more focused discussion of controversies in defining and understanding family violence, which is arguably the predominant portion of violence. The issues occurring within the family violence arena provide an excellent example of the issues that arise in attempting to define violence. The chapter also focuses on violence during one age period, youth, and suggests differentiating violence into four types for the purpose of furthering and specifying patterns. This review is presented to illustrate how definitional issues can affect our understanding of violence and the ultimate utility of efforts to reduce violence and its harmful impact.


As emphasized throughout this chapter, the variations in interest and the perspective of the stakeholders can explain much of the differences in how violence is viewed and defined (Chalk & King, 1998). Accordingly, it is important to note that this review is written from the perspective of a violence research base focused on youth and family violence. The focus is also primarily on violence as it occurs and affects various cultures and groups within the United States. Fit and generalization may decrease as one moves to other settings and targets and to cultures other than Western industrialized societies.

The Challenge of Defining Violence

Violence as a Distinct Form
of Morbidity and Mortality

Typically, violence is differentiated from disease and unintentional injuries because it involves the intention to harm self or another. The notion of intent to injure is a common and central feature of what is meant by violence (Krug, Dahlberg, Mercy, Zwi, & Lozano, 2002). Its importance can be seen in the common legal distinction among an accident (no intention), negligence (failure to show due caution or care that results in an injury or harm), recklessness (acting in such a manner as to greatly increase the potential for injury), and such crimes as assault or battery, in which the intention (mens rea) is essential to prove that the crime occurred and that the person charged is res-ponsible or guilty. What is violent and how serious or offensive is that violence depend on how fully formed the intent to harm is.

   This distinction is particularly important for public health efforts to reduce violence because it focuses on motivation, suggesting that interventions, whether legal, educational, or behavioral, might be most effective if informed by the motivation of those acting violently or the precipitants that might increase the likelihood of violence. Yet, the perceived role of motivation is a matter of ongoing controversy and often results in countervailing actions and policy advocacy. Some prefer to emphasize personal responsibility and favor legal methods to influence violence, whereas those who view it as a behavioral health issue may prefer training or environmental manipulations that lessen its likelihood. The former view tends to emphasize distinguishing among types of violence with related differentiation of actions and policies as the most effective response. The latter, behavioral view would emphasize actions and policies similar to those promoted for disease and unintentional injury prevention (e.g., reduce environmental precipitants, reduce risk among those most likely to be affected).

The Challenges of Certainty and
Agreement in Defining Violence

There is less certainty, as well as substantial disagreement, about how fully intentional the expression to cause physical harm must be for the act to be considered violent. Similarly, it is an unsettled debate whether, for violence to be present, the intention must be to cause physical harm or merely to coerce another (Tolan et al., 2006). For example, most would agree that threatening to hit someone unless he or she did as you demanded is violent. Whether it is still violent if the threat does not include physical aggression remains a question; how clearly must physical harm be threatened for violence to occur? (Chalk & King, 1998). Stakeholders vary widely on where such boundaries should be drawn (Jouriles, McDonald, Norwood, & Ezell, 2001). Similarly, they vary widely on whether engaging in what is considered oppressive or coercive practices toward another might be considered violent.

   A third factor that influences the definition of violence is a recipient or victim’s perception of potential harm or threat of injury or the extent of his or her experienced injury. Some would argue that acts, orientations, or statements that intimidate, oppress, or create undue insecurity are violent, even if they do not involve actual physical aggression or specific verbal threats. Others suggest that violence should be differentiated from the victim’s perception of threat, even if only to permit more careful empirical testing of the relation between acts and perceptions (Hines & Malley-Morrison, 2004; Johnson, 1995). When should the perception of threat be considered violence, and when is it, although certainly a problem, perhaps better understood as a correlate or related class of behaviors? Further, how are relationship characteristics, such as high levels of conflict, contemptuous attitudes, or neglect of expected care, related to violence? Are these co-occurring problems, adjacent problems that may overlap, or independent forms of violence?

   Thus, although the exhibition of physical force with the intent to coerce or harm another is a common and central aspect of most definitions of violence, there are other important features as well, and these features vary in their centrality in such definitions (Jouriles et al., 2001). A fairly typical example is the definition rendered as part of a World Health Organization summit on violence in 1996: “Violence is defined as the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community, that either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment or deprivation” (p. 5).

   Although broad, this definition is not among the broadest. A recent review, for example, applied a broad conceptualization of injury in defining violence. Jackman (2002) indicates that violence may include “actions that inflict, threaten, or cause injury. Actions may be corporal, written, or verbal. Injuries may be corporal, psychological, material, or social” (p. 389). This review notes that, without such a broad set of forms of harm, we run the risk of overemphasizing singularly violent acts between individuals, which may not carry as much social and economic importance as do activities broader. This view is found in many attempts to define violence, although they may vary in breadth and the extent to which acts or implied acts other than intentional physical injury are included (see Chalk & King, 1998, for a review of these, and Jouriles et al., 2001, for a cogent discussion of these issues as they pertain to family violence).

   Although comprehensive and inclusive, such definitions as Jackman’s and those of the WHO may be overly inclusive and not specific enough to allow determining consistently and with confidence whether a given act is violent. Thus, one limitation of such a broad definition is that it becomes difficult to presume what the label of violence means, even if this definition is accepted as the one to use. For example, the WHO definition includes the use of power, not just physical force, as a form of violence. It also includes threats and intimidation along with actual acts of physical aggression. Unlike some definitions, this one does not include acts of omission of care, such as neglect (American Psychological Association Presidential Task Force on Violence and the Family, 1996). However, it does include effects of deprivation and maldevelopment, which implies that neglect is a form of violence. This definition is also typical in broadening potential harm beyond the immediate injury to its impact on subsequent opportunities and functioning. Finally, although not explicitly stated in the definition, the larger document from which it is derived emphasizes that exploitation of differences in physical size, economic capability, and political status and other misuse of power can be equated with violence (Krug et al., 2002).

    The interest in not constricting the parameters of violence may have the unintended effect of introducing more variation into what is meant or what can be presumed by the term violence. As a result, such definitions may fail to differentiate or calibrate violence by seriousness or potential to injure. In turn, such broad and nonspecific definitions may sacrifice clarity that facilitates scientific advancement, the shared understanding of findings, advocacy arguments, and policy requirements. Thus, we may improve our understanding, communication, and problem solving about the nature of violence and what can be done about it if we strive for less inclusive definitions of violence.

Cultural and Societal Variations in What
Is Considered Violence

Another important challenge in defining violence is that cultural differences may affect the meaning of the terms “violence” and “injury” (Walters & Parke, 1964). For example, injury in some cultures extends to attempts to harm or manipulate the well-being of others, whereas in other cultures, injury is reserved for physical harm. Similarly, what is considered very offensive in one culture may be considered acceptable, even expected, behavior in another. Even if the force is clearly physical, such acts may not be seen as violent, or they may not be treated as similar to other acts of violence. Whether cultural acceptability and common occurrence should be considered as criteria for differentiating violence from other physical acts or harmful methods remains controversial. For example, in a state of armed struggle, teaching children to have empathy for and not act violently toward members of the warring faction may seem valuable in reducing violence (or similarly among gangs in an urban community in the United States or other scenarios). Yet, that very training may be considered as harming the children by diminishing their vigilance and risking their safety (Garbarino, 1996).

   Cultural considerations in the definition of violence are also evident in how fear and perceived safety are related to actual levels of harm. For example, in the United States, there is a growing belief that schools today are more violent and dangerous, with a corresponding belief that students are less safe, with its negative ramifications for learning. However, this perception iscountered by data showing that schools remain one of the safest settings for children and adults (Tolan, 2001). If the perception of violence leads to a harmful impact on felt safety and on developmental progress in learning, is this violence or is it important to differentiate that impact from the effects of actual violent incidents?

Gender and Violence

Related to the cultural and societal variation in the orientation to violence is the understanding of gender in violence. Evidence clearly shows that males experience greater levels of violence than females (Farrington, Langan, & Tonry, 2004). Gender differences, particularly in physical aggression, seem to be present early and remain throughout development (Tremblay et al., 2004). Further, it is widely held that male aggression includes more violence, ability to harm, intimidation, and other threatening aspects than female aggression. Male aggression and violence, it is argued, is more likely to be part of a pattern of coercion, intimidation, or contempt. This difference in social power is considered important in defining violence and in locating concerns about battering, political and economic inequities, and social resources when characterizing gender-based violence (APA Presidential Task Force, 1996; Jouriles et al., 2001). Gaining a better understanding of violence requires due consideration of how engrained and how important violence-related beliefs can influence definitions. The view of gender in relation to violence, as well as other cultural and societal variations in how a given act or perception is related to violence, can be marked through legal codification, traditions, or social structures, and other sanctioning of the behavior is often influential in shaping violence definitions (Chalk & King, 1998; Tolan et al., 2006).

   Moreover, there is much controversy about how such cultural variations and gender specifically should be incorporated into violence definitions. For example, even if legal or sanctioned, should actions that dimi-nish the rights or status of others, and by so doing promote violence, be labeled “not violent” in a given culture (Fagan & Browne, 1994)? When an act seriously harms the viability and safety level of a community, even if legal or sanctioned, should it still be considered violent? Is the failure to care for those in pain or to impose prolonged neglect or discomfort an act of violence? Not surprisingly, some argue for culturally based definitions of violence, whereas others argue for absolute definitions, with variations by culture or society to be measured and then interpreted within cultural contexts and other potential influences (Farrington et al., 2004; Krug et al., 2002).

   Further, whether culture norms should be considered when defining a given act as violent can vary depending on the act and who is defining it. Finding a level of certainty and specificity that promotes shared understanding of what is meant by violence yet does not ignore cultural variation and the role of social status and power is among the greatest challenges in defining violence.

The Challenge in Attempting to Formulate
a Shared Definition of Violence

Although it might be inferred that it is merely narrow-focused constituencies that stubbornly blocks consensus on a clear and encompassing definition of violence, this view is too simplistic and ignores the complex issues vexing the field. In addition, there is a trade-off between a comprehensive, widely acceptable definition and specificity about what is considered violence or how violence should be connoted. Most essentially, what might be crafted so as to not offend any constituency would fail to respect that those engaged in advocacy, research, program development, and policy formulation recognize that what is defined as violence and what is definitely not violence carries substantial economic, political, and social ramifications (APA Presidential Task Force, 1996). For example, there is much controversy about whether violence occurring within intimate, marital, or marriage-like relationships should be termed intimate partner violence, domestic violence, one form of violence against women, or battering (Jouriles et al., 2001). Each of these terms carries quite different connotations about the nature of the violence, the extent to which it is assumed to be unidirectional or inherently the responsibility of one partner (in most cases the male), and the prominence that gender-related social and physical power differences should have in framing, measuring, and addressing the problem (Tolan et al., 2006). Further, there is accompanying disagreement, sometimes even among those espousing a given term, about whether relationship violence should be limited to actual acts of physical force or should include other threatening and coercive actions, statements, and practices. Although there has been increasing interest in conceptually and empirically scrutinizing the validity and utility of these competing terms, resolution remains elusive on key conceptual differences and in relating these concepts in an orderly fashion to advance understanding (Daro, Edleson, & Pinderhughes, 2004). As such, progress has been slow toward shared approaches to the study of relationship violence, how to sample the populations, what measures to use, and how to characterize patterns of prevalence, risk factor correlations, and intervention effects (or lack thereof).

Research and Policy Differentiation of Forms
of Violence

Although almost always conceptualized as inherently undesirable, violence is not an uncommon human behavior (Krug et al., 2002). In addition, although violent behavior shares common features, it occurs in many forms. One can identify patterns of repeated use of violence by individuals and by certain groups and identify risk markers for violence, but violence is also something that most persons exhibit at some time, albeit infrequently and often without the clear precipitants implied by risk studies (Tolan, 2001). In addition, there are violent acts, such as physical punishment of children, that are legally sanctioned and conventionally supported. There are times when violence carries virtue, such as in a righteous war or when a policeman subdues a person who is harming others. Moreover, in literature and popular media, the use of violence to resolve conflict, undo injustices, restore order, and redeem characters is very common. Thus, violence is a ubiquitous yet patterned behavior with substantial concentration in a very small portion of most populations and with conflicting views about its inherent undesirability (Jackman, 2002).

   Yet, there is little controversy about the need to address the problem of violence and to view violence as problematic. As the volume of publications attest, it is well documented that violence imposes great costs on our societies through increased mortality and morbidity; decreased capability; related legal, health, and welfare costs; and unrealized human potential (Tolan, 2001). For example, along with unintentional injuries, violence is the leading cause of mortality and morbidity for children under age 12 in the United States (CDC, 2004). Violence is widespread and a leading cause of morbidity and mortality across societies, although there is much variation from country to country and across regions in the rates of violence and types of violence that are most prominent (Krug et al., 2002). For example, in 2000, an estimated 1.6 million persons died of violence worldwide, which translates to a rate of 28.8 per 100,000. Of these, 520,000 were homicides, or a rate of 8.8 per 100,000; 815,000 were suicides, or 14.5 per 100,000 people. War-related deaths numbered 310,000, or 5.2 per 100,000.

   Violence costs are difficult to estimate. In part this is because the costs are imbued in burdens to health care, criminal justice, and child welfare and education systems, and as such they are estimates of debatable certainty. However, the WHO estimates the cost of violence in 2000 in the United States to be $126 billion annually for gunshot injuries and $51 billion for stab wounds. One study estimated that each suicide imposes approximately $850,000 in costs (Tolan, 2001).

   Lethal violence rates are tied to a country’s economic status, with a rate of 32.1 per 100,000 in low- to middle-income countries and 14.4 per 100,000 in high-income countries. Across nations, though, 91% of violent deaths occur in low-income areas of the population. Violent deaths, particularly homicides, are also age related, with a rate of 5.4 per 100,000 among those aged 0 to 4, dropping to 2.1 per 100,000 for those aged 5 to 14, and jumping to 19.4 for males and 4.4 for females aged 15 to 24. This gender divergence persists for the remainder of the lifespan. The rate remains at or near this level for females, whereas for males it remains near this level until age 44 to 55, when it drops to 14.8. At each succeeding decade, the rate declines some for males. Suicide shows a different age pattern, climbing for each age period, from negligible rates for those under age 15 to rates of 15.6 for 15- to 29-year-old males. This rate more than doubles, to 44.9 per 100,000, for males older than age 60. Rates for females, although also negligible in childhood and lower across the lifespan than for males, jump from approximately 12 per 100,000 to 22.6 per 100,000 after age 60.

   The proportion of violent deaths due to suicide or homicide varies considerably among regions of the world, implying that cultural differences may relate to patterns of violence, particularly lethal violence. Violent deaths are much more likely to be due to suicide than homicide in European, Southeast Asia, and the Western Pacific regions, but much more likely to be homicide in the Americas and Africa. However, within these overall regional differences, there are major variations in relative rates of homicide versus suicide among countries and within and across countries among urban and rural populations, richer and poorer segments, and ethnic groups.

Identifying Categories or Types
of Violence

Despite this controversy and considerable challenge in defining violence, there is the recognition that differentiating the many categories of violence may be valuable for epidemiology, risk and causal understanding, intervention, and policy (Elliott & Tolan, 1999). At the broadest level, a distinction is commonly made among collective violence, self-directed violence, and interpersonal violence (WHO Global Consultation on Violence and Health, 1996). Collective violence refers to acts by groups, often perpetrated for political purpose. Most typically this refers to oppressive intent to suppress liberty and economic opportunity of others. This form of violence while emerging as more important, is not the focus of most of the work on youth violence. Self-directed violence includes self-injurious (abuse, mutilation) and suicidal behaviors. Interpersonal violence refers to violence between individuals and is predominantly family violence, which is the most common form of violence to others in the United States. Family violence comprises three broad categories: domestic violence or violence to or between romantic or marital partners, child abuse or violence toward a child, and elder violence (Tolan et al., 2006). For adolescents, acquaintance violence and community violence (violence toward or from a person in the community but not personally known to the other, such as a member of a neighboring gang) are common forms of interpersonal violence. Another form of interpersonal violence is media violence, which is exposure to violence through popular media, such as television shows, movies, video games, music, and print. Another category of violence often included as a component of interpersonal violence is institutional violence or violence that occurs within work, school, prison, nursing homes, or other institutional settings. Implicit in this notion is that something about the setting precipitates, tolerates, or promulgates the violent acts.

© Cambridge University Press

Table of Contents

Introduction; Part I. General Perspectives: 1. Understanding violence; 2. Origins of violent behavior over the life span; 3. A review of research on the taxonomy of life-course persistent versus adolescence-limited antisocial behavior; Part II. Biological Bases of Violence: 4. Behavior-genetics of criminality and aggression; 5. The genetics of aggression in mice; 6. The psychophysiology of aggression: autonomic, electrocortical, and neuro-imaging findings; 7. Biosocial bases of violence; 8. Neurobiology of impulsive aggression: focus on serotonin and the orbitofrontal cortex; 9. The neuropsychology of violence; 10. The interaction of nature and nurture in antisocial behavior; Part III. Individual Factors and Violence: 11. Relational aggression and gender: an overview; 12. Personality dispositions and the development of violence and conduct problems; 13. Personality and violence: the unifying role of structural models of personality; 14. Exposure to violence, mental health and violent behavior; 15. Social-cognitive processes in the development of antisocial and violent behavior; 16. Self-control theory and criminal violence; Part IV. Interpersonal Factors and Violent Behavior: 17. Peers and violence: a two sided developmental perspective; 18. Youth gangs and violent behavior; 19. Family violence; 20. Youth violence across ethnic and national groups: comparisons of rates and developmental processes; 21. Adolescent dating abuse perpetration: a review of findings, methodological limitations, and suggestions for future research; 22. Social networks and violent behavior; 23. Public health and violence: moving forward in a global context; 24. Cross-national research on violent victimization; 25. Violent juvenile delinquency: changes, consequences, and implications; 26. Strain theory and violent behavior; Part V. Contextual Factors and Violent Behavior: 27. School violence; 28. Why observing violence increases the risk of violent behavior by the observer; 29. Violence and culture in the United States; 30. Terrorism as a form of violence; 31. Therapeutic treatment approaches to violent behavior; 32. Psychopharmacology of violence; 33. Social learning and violent behavior; 34. Substance use and violent behavior; 35. Poverty/ socioeconomic status and exposure to violence in the lives of children and adolescents; 36. Social contagion of violence; Part VI. Methods for Studying Violent Behavior: 37. Studying aggression with structural equation modeling; 38. Overview of a semi-parametric, group based approach for analyzing trajectories of development; 39. Relocating violence: practice and power in an emerging field of qualitative research; Part VII. Looking Toward the Future: 40. Violent behavior and the science of prevention; 41. New directions in research on violence: bridging science, practice and policy.

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