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Youth Violence in Context: The Roles of Sex, Race, and Community in Offending

NCJ Number
Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice Volume: 5 Issue: 4 Dated: October 2007 Pages: 385-410
Dana Peterson; Finn-Aage Esbensen; Terrance J. Taylor; Adrienne Freng
Date Published
October 2007
26 pages

This research study looked at to what extent violent juvenile offending is considered an urban minority male issue.


This research study found that the media’s stereotype of the “dark stranger” as the violent offender did not hold true and wasn’t entirely consistent with expectations. There were a greater number of African-Americans that reported having engaged in each of the violent offences within the past 12 months than Whites, Hispanics, or Asians. However, the rate that Native Americans engaged in each type of offense within the past 12 months was equal to or greater than the African-American rate. In general, serious violent offending is more prevalent among Native Americans than among African-Americans. The purpose of the study was to find out “who are the violent offenders” by race, ethnicity, and sex. The study was conducted by using a multisite sample of middle school students. The study was conducted in the spring of 1995 using eighth graders in 11 locations across the United States. The group completed a self-administered questionnaire. The entire sample consisted of 5,935 eighth graders from 42 different public school systems. Tables, appendixes, notes, and references