Delinquent Violent Youth: Theory and Interventions


Edited by: Thomas P. Gullotta, Gerald R. Adams & Raymond Montemayor

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  • Advances in Adolescent Development an Annual Book Series

    Series Editors:

    GeraldR. Adams, University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada
    RaymondMontemayor, Ohio State University
    ThomasP.Gullotta, Child and Family Agency, Connecticut

    Advances in Adolescent Development is an annual book series designed to analyze, integrate, and critique an abundance of new research and literature in the field of adolescent development. Contributors are selected from numerous disciplines based on their creative, analytic, and influential scholarship in order to provide information pertinent to professionals as well as upper-division and graduate students. The Series Editors' goals are to evaluate the current empirical and theoretical knowledge about adolescence, and to encourage the formulation (or expansion) of new directions in research and theory development.

    Volumes in This Series

    • Volume 1: Biology of Adolescent Behavior and Development, edited by Gerald R. Adams, Raymond Montemayor, and Thomas P. Gullotta
    • Volume 2: From Childhood to Adolescence: A Transitional Period? edited by Raymond Montemayor, Gerald R. Adams, and Thomas P. Gullotta
    • Volume 3: Developing Social Competency in Adolescence, edited by Thomas P. Gullotta, Gerald R. Adams, and Raymond Montemayor
    • Volume 4: Adolescent Identity Formation, edited by Gerald R. Adams, Thomas P. Gullotta, and Raymond Montemayor
    • Volume 5: Adolescent Sexuality, edited by Thomas P. Gullotta, Gerald R. Adams, and Raymond Montemayor
    • Volume 6: Personal Relationships During Adolescence, edited by Raymond Montemayor, Gerald R. Adams, and Thomas P. Gullotta
    • Volume 7: Substance Misuse in Adolescence, edited by Thomas P. Gullotta, Gerald R. Adams, and Raymond Montemayor
    • Volume 8: Psychosocial Development During Adolescence: Progress in Developmental Contextualism edited by Gerald R. Adams, Raymond Montemayor, and Thomas P. Gullotta
    • Volume 9: Delinquent Violent Youth: Theory and Interventions edited by Thomas P. Gullotta, Gerald R. Adams, and Raymond Montemayor


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    In this volume of Advances in Adolescent Development, we examine selected aspects of criminal and violent behavior among young people. In keeping with the mission of this book series, we have invited a distinguished group of scholars from different disciplines and different perspectives to examine this topic. Our intention is to provide the reader with the views of different disciplines on this issue of concern.

    The issue of criminal behavior among our youth is deeply troubling to Americans. It does not fit our desired understanding of adolescence. Is not adolescence an awkward retrospectively humorous time of growth? Is not adolescence an introspective attempt to define oneself in the context of time, place, and others? Is not adolescence a time of innocent blunders and foolish escapades? For some young people, the answer to these questions is yes—sometimes. But there are other times that adolescence does not follow the script of the television situation comedy. There is crushing poverty that makes black market activities such as drugs and prostitution appealing. There is the absence of the one meaningful, lasting adult friendship that all youth need to grow up successfully. There is a profound depression among growing numbers of youth that life—any life—has value.

    In the first chapter, Robert Googins contrasts the writings of Charles Dickens's urban environment with those of Mark Twain's rural settings and the social conditions of the late 1800s that led to the development of the juvenile justice system. Mark Eddy and Laurie Swanson Gribskov continue this discussion in the second chapter, introducing the reader to the theoretical and social policy thinking that helped shape society's responses to youth in trouble. In the next chapter, Ruth Seydlitz and Pam Jenkins examine the vast literature concerning how families, peers, schools, and the community influence delinquent behavior. This is followed by Carl Leukefeld and his associates’ investigation of the role that substances play in delinquent behavior. In the fifth chapter, Robert Sege discusses the influence that television has on violent behavior in childhood and adolescence.

    The remainder of the book focuses attention on treatment and prevention interventions for youth involved in or at risk for involvement with the criminal justice system. For example, in Chapter 6, Charles Borduin and Cindy Schaeffer examine conceptual issues and research findings pertaining to the nature and treatment of violent criminal behavior in adolescents and the implications these have for treatment. In Chapter 7, Daniel Flannery, Ronald Huff, and Michael Manos provide a developmental perspective of youth gangs. In this chapter, these scholars define gangs, gang activity, and the role of gang activity in adolescent life. They conclude this chapter with a discussion of those interventions that have shown promise and those that have failed in modifying gang activity. Next, Cassandra Stanton and Aleta Meyer survey the literature to identify effective community-based approaches for treating juvenile offenders. This is followed in Chapter 9 with an examination of effective interventions for incarcerated youth by Evvie Becker and Annette Rickel. The volume concludes with a provocative chapter by Martin Bloom on the promotion of juvenile rightency. In that chapter, Martin appropriately challenges us to consider the potential of youth rather than their all-too-numerous (perceived) deficiencies.

    To the graduate student, program director, or clinician who wants to increase her or his knowledge of violent delinquent behavior, this volume offers a solid overview. It reviews the current knowledge and provides clear direction to services that appear promising. To the policymaker interested in establishing sound approaches to dealing with violent delinquent youth, this volume provides guidance in choosing those approaches that work and those that do not. It is our hope that the reader will take this knowledge and apply it to the promotion of juvenile rightency.

    ThomasP.Gullotta Child and Family Agency of Southeastern Connecticut
  • About the Editors

    Thomas P. Gullotta, MA, MSW, is CEO of Child and Family Agency of Southeastern Connecticut. He currently is the Editor of the Journal of Primary Prevention. For Sage Publications, he serves as a general series book editor for Advances in Adolescent Development and is the senior book series editor of Issues in Children's and Families’ Lives. For Plenum, he serves as the series editor for Prevention in Practice. In addition, he holds editorial appointments on the Journal of Early Adolescence, Adolescence, and the Journal of Educational and Psychological Consultation. He serves on the board of the National Mental Health Association and is an adjunct faculty member in the Psychology Department of Eastern Connecticut State University.

    Gerald R. Adams is Professor of Family Relations and Human Development at the University of Guelph. His research interests include the study of personality and social development, family-school contexts and individual development, and developmental patterns in identity formation during adolescence and young adulthood. He is a fellow of the American Psychological Association and American Psychological Society. He has editorial assignments with such publications as the Journal of Adolescent Research, Journal of Adolescence, Journal of Early Adolescence, and the Journal of Primary Prevention, among others. He teaches courses in adolescent development at both the undergraduate and graduate levels at the University of Guelph.

    Raymond Montemayor is Associate Professor of Psychology at Ohio State University. His research interests include parent-adolescent relations, especially the study of conflict and stress between parents and adolescents. In addition, he is interested in the effect of peer relations on adolescent social development. He is Associate Editor for the Journal of Early Adolescence and is an editorial board member for the Journal of Adolescent Research.

    About the Contributors

    Evvie Becker, PhD, Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Connecticut, was a 1993–1994 Fellow at Harvard University and Boston Children's Hospital, funded by a National Research Service grant for family violence research. Prior to that appointment, she was a 1992–1993 Congressional Science Fellow sponsored by the American Psychological Association (APA), working for U.S. Senator Christopher J. Dodd in his capacity as chairman of the Senate Labor Subcommittee on Children. Dr. Becker is coauthor (with Annette U. Rickel) of the book, Keeping Children From Harm's Way: The Impact of National Policy on Human Development, published by APA (1997). She was a 1991–1992 Psychology Fellow in Pediatrics at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. Dr. Becker serves on the board of directors for the Connecticut Children's Law Center, was a member of APA's ad hoc Committee on Legal and Ethical Issues in the Treatment of Interpersonal Violence, and served on APA's Committee on Legal Issues from 1994 to 1996. Prior to receiving her doctorate (University of Connecticut, 1991), she was a Public Information Officer for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and received a NASA Special Achievement Award in 1985.

    Martin Bloom received his PhD in social psychology from the University of Michigan after obtaining a diploma in social study (social work) from the University of Edinburgh. He has taught in schools of social work most of his career. Among his publications are Primary Prevention Practice (1996) and Primary Prevention: The Possible Science (1981).

    Charles M. Borduin, PhD, is Professor of Psychology at the University of Missouri—Columbia and Director of the Missouri Delinquency Project. He received his doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Memphis and interned at Rutgers Medical School. His research interests include adolescent violent and sexual offending, family dysfunction, and the development and refinement of a multisystemic treatment approach for serious juvenile offenders. Dr. Borduin has published extensively in the areas of juvenile delinquency and adolescent psychopathology, and he has served as a consultant to numerous state and federal agencies on the reform of children's mental health services.

    A. Cattarello, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Sociology in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin—Eau Claire. While at the University of Kentucky, Dr. Cattarello served as the study director for the National Institute on Drug Abuse grant to examine the effectiveness of the DARE program in Lexington. She has published in the area of adolescent prevention, HIV, and criminology. Her research interests include communities, crime, women, and HIV.

    R. R. Clayton, PhD, has extensive experience in drug and alcohol research, having been principal investigator for the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)-funded DARE study and the Manhattan Survey of Young Men. He is the principal investigator for the University of Kentucky's NIDA-funded Center for Prevention Research and has served on the NIDA National Advisory Council. Dr. Clayton has also served on the NIDA Resource Development and Training Committee and the Epidemiology and Prevention grant review committee. He currently serves on the Center's grant review committee. Dr. Clayton is also a member of various committees for the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, and he has served on two Institute of Medicine Committees. He is currently a national program director for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Chair of the Research Network on Tobacco Dependence.

    J. Mark Eddy, PhD, is a researcher at the Oregon Prevention Research Center, part of the Oregon Social Learning Center ( in Eugene, Oregon. His research focuses on the development and refinement of interventions to prevent parent and child problem behaviors. He is particularly interested in the prevention of conduct disorders.

    Daniel J. Flannery is Associate Professor of Criminal Justice Studies at Kent State University. His research focuses on developmental psychopathology and youth violence. He serves on the editorial board of several adolescent and family journals. He is coeditor (with C. R. Huff) of the forthcoming book Youth Violence: Prevention, Intervention and Social Policy for American Psychiatric Press, and he is principal investigator of a longitudinal study of youth violence prevention funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    Robert Googins, M.B.A., LL.B., is Professor of Law at the University of Connecticut where he has taught a course on Dickens and the law for many years. He is the founder and past director of that school's insurance center. He served as insurance commissioner for the State of Connecticut under the Weicker administration. Prior to that position, he was executive vice-president and general counsel for Connecticut Mutual Life Insurance Company. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, he is currently the executive director of the Insurance Marketplace Standards Association in Washington, DC.

    Laurie Swanson Gribskov, PhD, is Adjunct Professor with the Institute on Violence and Destructive Behavior in the College of Education at the University of Oregon. She is an elected municipal official and serves as the president of the Eugene City Council. She also chairs the Lane County Public Safety Coordinating Council. Prior to her current position, she was Executive Director of the Southern Willamette Private Industry Council. Her research focuses on public policy implementation and the evolution of youth gangs.

    C. Ronald Huff, PhD, is Director and Professor in the School of Public Policy and Management and Director of the Criminal Justice Research Center at The Ohio State University. He has recently completed two major studies of gangs. His ten books include Gangs in America (2nd ed.) and The Gang Intervention Handbook. He is coeditor (with D. Flannery) of the forthcoming book Youth Violence: Prevention, Intervention and Social Policy for American Psychiatric Press.

    Pam Jenkins is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of New Orleans. The focus of her research is behaviors and attitudes related to violence and crime. She is coeditor of Preventing Violence in America (1996) and also of Witnessing for Sociology: Sociologists in the Courts (1996). In addition, she has published articles in Social Work, Behavioral Sciences and the Law, Impact Assessment, and Journal of Family Issues.

    C. G. Leukefeld, DSW, has published in the areas of drug abuse prevention and intervention research. He served in various capacities at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), including the Chief of the Prevention Branch as well as the Deputy Director of the Division of Clinical Research, before coming to the University of Kentucky. Currently, he is the principal investigator for the NIDA-funded Kentucky AIDS Outreach Cooperative Agreement, the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment State Needs Assessment Studies, the NIDA-funded Adolescent Follow Up Study, and for a NIDA Stage I Behavioral Therapy grant. Dr. Leukefeld serves as a consultant to federal agencies and currently is on the NIDA Health Serves grant review committee.

    T. K. Logan, PhD, has experience in managing and designing large national evaluations for health-related social programs. Dr. Logan has served as the study director for a national study of nutrition education training and a WIC/Head Start Cooperative Study. She designed and directed a national study of services integration and needs assessment study of pregnant and mothering adolescents for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Consumer Service. Dr. Logan is currently a postdoctoral scholar at the Center on Drug and Alcohol Research at the University of Kentucky and is the study director for a National Institute on Drug Abuse-funded Adolescent Follow Up Study and for a federally funded study by the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention.

    D. Lynam recently received his PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Wisconsin—Madison and is currently Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Kentucky. His research interests include the role of individual difference factors in deviance across the life course. He has published numerous articles on cognitive factors in adolescent delinquency, and his most recent work deals with the early identification of chronic offenders.

    Michael Manos is Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, Case Western Reserve University, University Hospitals of Cleveland. He is also Clinical Director of University Hospital's ADHD program. Dr. Manos received his doctorate in special education and clinical psychology from the University of Arizona. He taught and conducted educational research at the University of Hawaii and was executive director of a school for learning disabled and ADHD children in Honolulu.

    C. Martin, PhD, has extensive clinical experience as a child psychiatrist. She is interested in hyperactivity and has practiced and published in this area. She has also studied and published in the area of adolescent impulsivity and substance abuse, as well as conduct disorder and impulsivity. She has a particular interest in biochemical markers and their relationship with substance abuse.

    Aleta L. Meyer, PhD, is Assistant Professor of Psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University and Director of Training for the Life Skills Center. She received her PhD in human development and family studies from Penn State. Her specialization is the development, evaluation, and improvement of prevention and health promotion programs for young adolescents.

    R. Milich, PhD, has extensive experience as a psychologist in studying children and their transition through early adulthood. His primary research focus is attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and he has published more than 70 papers and chapters dealing with long-term outcomes, peer relations, attention and comprehension, and classification issues among this population. He is currently Associate Editor of the Journal of Abnormal Psychology, the premier journal in the field.

    Annette U. Rickel is Professor of Psychology at Wayne State University and a clinical professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Georgetown University Medical Center. Recently, she was a Senior Congressional Fellow and worked on the Health Policy staff of U.S. Senator Donald W. Riegle, Jr. In addition, she served on President Clinton's Task Force for National Health Care Reform and staffed the Mental Health Work Group. She received her PhD from the University of Michigan and is a Fellow and past president of the APA Society for Community Research and Action. Her research has focused on identification and intervention with high-risk populations and has been published in numerous scientific journals as well as several books. Currently, she is working on the development of a training program in managed care for graduating physicians and allied health care professionals that has been funded by the Kellogg Foundation.

    Cindy M. Schaeffer, MA, is a doctoral student in the clinical psychology program at the University of Missouri—Columbia. She received her master's degree in clinical psychology from the University of Missouri and her bachelor's degree from the University of Maryland. Her research interests include sibling relations of delinquent adolescents, family dysfunction, and community psychology.

    Robert D. Sege is Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Tufts University School of Medicine and a member of the Division of General Pediatrics at The Floating Hospital for Children at New England Medical Center. He graduated from Yale College, received his PhD in biology from MIT in 1987, and received his MD from Harvard Medical School in 1988. He completed training in pediatrics at the Children's Hospital, Boston, MA in 1991. Dr. Sege is currently the Director of the Pediatric and Adolescent Health Research Center at New England Medical Center and Assistant Chief of the Division of General Pediatrics at The Floating Hospital for Children. His research involves the development of a health care response to adolescent peer violence and its prevention. His research has been supported by a Robert Wood Johnson Generalist Physician Faculty Scholarship award.

    Ruth Seydlitz is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of New Orleans. She is primarily interested in juvenile delinquency and has published studies about this subject in Youth & Society and Sociological Spectrum, and in Concetta Culliver's book, Female Criminality: The State of the Art. She has also completed research concerning the impact of the offshore petroleum industry on Louisiana communities and the effect of media presentations of hazards and disasters on the public's responses.

    Cassandra A. Stanton, MS, is a doctoral student in the child specialty track of the clinical psychology program at Virginia Commonwealth University. Her primary research interests include the etiology, assessment, and treatment of child and adolescent behavior problems. She is currently working on an NCI research grant designed to promote health behaviors in rural youth.

    R. Zimmerman, PhD, is Associate Professor in the Department of Behavioral Science. He is currently a coprincipal investigator in the final year of a NIDA-funded epidemiologic and prevention study. Dr. Zimmerman had primary responsibility for gaining consent and tracking subjects over 3 years. He has also been involved in several CDC-funded studies of HIV prevention, education, problem behaviors, and sexually transmitted diseases in adolescents and young adults.

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