Relationship between Attributional Errors and at-Risk Behaviors among Juvenile Delinquents.
Publication: Non-journal (the paper was presented at the Annual Conference of the American Educational Research Association in New Orleans, LA; April 24-28, 2000)
Topics: Age Group Crime Education/Counseling Gender Gun Carrying
Keywords: Adolescents Substance Abuse Violence delinquency guns juvenile gangs
Bibliographic information +
Using data derived from surveying 82 adolescent males aged 12 to 18, who were incarcerated in correctional facilities in a large southeastern state in the U.S., the authors explore whether risky behaviors (such as gun ownership, gang membership, substance abuse and sexual activity) are associated with attempts by an offender to justify violent actions by blaming either the victim or external circumstances, a concept known as violence attributional errors. They found that juvenile offenders who brought a gun to school, sold drugs, drank alcohol frequently, had friends who died violently and who believed that men have a right to expect sex from women were significantly more likely to make attributional errors compared to their counterparts. They show that attributional errors preceded the onset of these risky behaviors and suggested that risky behaviors may be prevented by implementing interventions such as affective skills development and attributional retraining aimed at helping adolescents develop responsible social behavior.