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Developmental Trajectories Toward Violence in Middle Childhood: Course, Demographic Differences, and Response to School-Based Intervention

NCJ Number
Developmental Psychology Volume: 39 Issue: 2 Dated: 2003 Pages: 324-348
J. L. Aber; Joshua L. Brown; Stephanie M. Jones
Date Published
25 pages

Four waves of data on features of childrens social-emotional development known to forecast aggression/violence were collected over 2 years for a highly representative sample of 1st to 6th grade children from New York City public elementary schools (N=11,160).


Using hierarchical linear modeling techniques, synthetic growth curves were estimated for the entire sample and were conditioned on child demographic characteristics (gender, family economic resources, race/ethnicity) and amount of exposure to components of the preventive intervention. Three patterns of growth--positive linear, late acceleration, and gradual deceleration--characterized the children's trajectories, and these trajectories varied meaningfully by child demographic characteristics. Children whose teachers taught a high number of lessons in the conflict resolution curriculum demonstrated positive changes in their social-emotional developmental trajectories and deflections from a path toward future aggression and violence. (publisher abstract modified)