Serious physical violence among Arab-Palestinian adolescents: The role of exposure to neighborhood violence, perceived ethnic discrimination, normative beliefs, and, parental communication

Adeem Ahmad Massarwi, Mona Khoury-Kassabri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study adopted a social-ecological perspective to exploring perpetration of serious physical violence against others among Arab-Palestinian adolescents. A total of 3178 adolescents (aged 13–18) completed anonymous, structured, self-report questionnaire, which included selected items from several instruments that measured variables relating to the constructs examined in the study. We explored the association of individual characteristics (age, gender, normative beliefs about violence, and perceived ethnic discrimination), familial characteristics (parent-adolescent communication and socioeconomic status), and contextual characteristics (exposure to community violence in the neighborhood) with perpetration of serious physical violence against others. A moderation-mediation model was tested, and 28.4% of the adolescents reported that they had perpetrated serious physical violence against others at least once during the month preceding the study. The findings also show that exposure of youth to violence in their neighborhood correlated significantly and positively with their perpetration of serious physical violence against others. A similar trend was revealed with respect to personal perceptions of ethnic discrimination. These correlations were mediated by the adolescents’ normative beliefs about violence. Furthermore, the correlation of direct exposure to violence in the neighborhood and normative beliefs about violence with perpetration of serious physical violence against others was stronger among adolescents who have poor communication with their parents than among those who have strong parental communication.

Original languageEnglish GB
Pages (from-to)233-244
Number of pages12
JournalChild Abuse and Neglect
Volume63
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Arab adolescents
  • Ethnic discrimination
  • Neighborhood violence
  • Normative beliefs
  • Parental communication
  • Serious physical violence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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