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Journal Article


Perkins SC, Cortina KS, Smith-Darden JP, Graham-Bermann SA. J. Interpers. Violence 2012; 27(7): 1199-1224.


University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.


(Copyright © 2012, SAGE Publishing)






This article investigates the relation between history of intrafamilial violence and self-regulatory capacity, cognitive processing, and mental health adjustment in incarcerated adolescents. Adolescents were incarcerated at the time of the study for various violent offenses, ranging from persistent delinquency to sexual assault (n = 115). A model is proposed that posits that self-regulation, cognitive ability, and cognitive processing are integral to the relation between intrafamilial violence and mental health function. The primary hypothesis of the study tests this mediation model. The relations between mental health, cognitive processing, self-regulation, and intrafamilial violence are also examined. The study was conducted during two sessions at a juvenile facility in the Midwest using survey measures, academic and intelligence testing, and cognitive tasks. Youth were between the ages of 13 and 20. Approximately 70% were previously diagnosed with a disability. Significant Pearson's correlations were found between seven out of eight mental health subscales of the Youth Self-Report (YSR) and intrafamilial violence history.Structural equation modeling was used to examine the role of cognitive processing in the association between intrafamilial violence and mental health function. Nonverbal or performance deficits, a significant difference between verbal skills and nonverbal skills, were related to intrafamilial violence. Self-regulation partially mediated the relation between intrafamilial violence and mental health function. Self-regulation ability may be compromised by intrafamilial violence and be a precursor to both internalizing and externalizing mental health problem in incarcerated youth. Educational, clinical, and research implications are discussed.

Keywords: Juvenile justice

Language: en


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