This article discusses the research methodology and outcomes of a study that tested General Strain Theory as an explanation for associations between adverse childhood experiences and risk of violent or suicidal behaviors.
This study tests General Strain Theory (GST) as an explanation for associations between adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and risk of violent and suicidal behaviors. Data comprise a census of archival information about the lives of 2,195 delinquent boys who resided at a U.S. treatment facility between 1975 and 2019. Logistic regression tests the effects of 12 combined ACEs, anger, low self-control, depression, race/ethnicity, and poverty on violent and suicidal behaviors. Interactive associations predicted by GST are examined by Z(mediation) and chi(2) analyses. Nearly 93% of residents experienced at least one ACE, and 87% had >= 4. ACEs increase risk of violent and suicidal behaviors net of controls. They interact with low self-control and anger to increase risk of violence, and anger and depression mediate risk of suicidal behaviors. Rehabilitative programming for troubled boys should begin with thorough assessment of these experiences, and both outcomes require equal consideration in the ACEs research. (Published Abstract Provided)
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