• Recent research has indicated that adolescents are particularly prone to witnessing, perpetrating, and being victimized by violence. Research has also suggested that depression may be a risk factor for aggression in adolescents. This document presents preliminary results from a study evaluating the relationship among violence exposure, aggressive behavior, and psychopathology in youth. It hypothesizes that depressed inpatient youth will demonstrate higher levels of aggression than nondepressed inpatient youth. It also hypothesizes that depression and exposure to violence will contribute significantly to the prediction of aggressive behavior. Participants (n=120) in the study were inpatients at a children's and adolescents' psychiatric hospital and ranged in age from 13-17. Results support the hypothesis that exposure to violence predicts aggressive behavior scores in adolescents with psychiatric disturbances. Results also suggest that exposure to traumatic violence and to indirect violence is the strongest predictor of aggression in the sample, whereas abuse experiences were not. This indicates that exposure to both severe and less severe forms of violence is associated with an increased risk for aggressive behavior in youth with psychiatric disturbances. Contrary to the hypothesis, depression did not contribute significantly to the prediction of aggressive behavior. (Contains 2 tables and 10 references.) (JDM)

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