From Family Violence Exposure to Violent Offending: Examining Effects of Race and Mental Health in a Moderated Mediation Model Among Confined Male Juveniles [2017]

Depression, substance use, and impulsivity have been linked to family violence exposure and to the development of violent offending during adolescence. Additionally, the indirect effects associated with these factors may not generalize across different racial/ethnic adolescent populations. The present study tested whether race/ethnicity moderated the mediated relationship between family violence exposure and violent offending, with depression, substance use, and impulsivity as mediators. A sample of 1,359 male adolescents was obtained from a juvenile correctional program. Between-racial/ethnic group comparisons were generally consistent with previous findings. The overall moderated mediation model was significant in predicting violence for both racial/ethnic groups. Different factors influenced violent offending among African Americans and European Americans in the tested model. Furthermore, race/ethnicity moderated the relationship between family violence exposure and impulsivity and substance use. Implications and future directions resolving issues are discussed concerning whether race/ethnicity should be included as a moderator in models of violence.

Rebecca L. Fix, Apryl A. Alexander, Barry R. Burkhart
International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, Vol 62, Issue 9, 2018