Breaking the Cycle

A Culturally Sensitive Violence Prevention Program for African-American Children and Adolescents
  • Betty R. Yung
  • W. Rodney Hammond
Part of the Issues in Clinical Child Psychology book series (ICCP)


Although our knowledge of violence prevalence is far from complete, there is virtually no question that male and female African Americans of all ages are consistently overrepresented as the victims and perpetrators of interpersonal violence. This fact appears to hold true across the continuum of severity, from relatively inconsequential fights among school children to the violent deaths reflected annually in national mortality data. Evidence further suggests that within African-American families and communities there is a greater reported incidence of violent acts affecting all types of relationships (spouse/partner, parent/child, and youth and their peers) than is found among all other groups.


Community Violence Violence Prevention Anger Management Violence Risk Target Skill 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Anderson, E. (1994). The code of the streets. Atlantic Monthly, 273(5), 81–94.Google Scholar
  2. Attar, B., Guerra, N., & Tolan, P. (1994). Neighborhood disadvantage, stressful life events, and adjustment in urban elementary-school children. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 23, 391–400.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bandura, A. (1969). Principles of behavior modification. New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston.Google Scholar
  4. Bandura A. (1977). Social learning theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  5. Bell, C, & Jenkins, E. (1993). Community violence and children on Chicago’s Southside. Psychiatry, 56, 46–54.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Busch, K., Zagar, R., Hughes, J., Arbit, J., & Busseil, R. (1990). Adolescents who kill. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 46, 472–485.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Catalano, R., Hawkins, D., Krenz, C, Gillmore, M., Morrison, D., Wells, E., & Abbott, R. (1993). Using research to guide culturally appropriate drug abuse prevention. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 61, 804–811.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Centers for Disease Control. (1990). Homicide among young black males—United States, 1978–1987. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 39, 869–873.Google Scholar
  9. Centers for Disease Control. (1996). Injury mortality: National summary of injury mortality data, 1986–1994. Atlanta, GA: Author.Google Scholar
  10. Coatsworth, J., Szapocznik, J., Kurtines, W., & Santisban, D. (1997). Culturally competent psychosocial interventions with antisocial problem behavior in Hispanic youth. In D. Stoff, J. Breiling, & J. Maser (Eds.), Handbook of antisocial behavior (pp. 395–403). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  11. Coie, J., Dodge, K., Terry, R., & Wright, V. (1991). The role of aggression in peer relations: An analysis of aggression episodes in boys’ play groups. Child Development, 62, 812–826.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Cohen, N., Resnick, J., Browne, D., Martin, S., McCarraher, D., & Woods, J. (1994). Aggression and fighting behavior among African-American adolescents: Individual and family factors. American Journal of Public Health, 84, 618–622.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Council on Crime in America. (1996). The state of violent crime in America. Washington, DC: New Citizenship Project.Google Scholar
  14. Crittenden, P., & Craig, S. (1990). Developmental trends in the nature of child homicide. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 5, 202–217.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Dawson, J., & Langan, P. (1994). Bureau of Justice Statistics special report: Murder in families. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice.Google Scholar
  16. Dodge, K., Bates, J., & Pettit, G. (1991). Mechanisms in the cycle of violence. Science, 250, 1678–1683.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Dodge, K., Price, J., Bachorowski, J., & Newman, J. (1990). Hostile attributional biases in severely aggressive adolescents. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 99, 385–392.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Dubrow. M., & Garbarino, J. (1989). Living in the war zone: Mothers and young children in public housing development. Child Welfare, 68, 3–20.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. DuRant, R., Getts, A., Cadenhead, C, & Woods, E. (1995). The association between weapon-carrying and the use of violence among adolescents living in or around public housing. Journal of Adolescence, 18, 579–592.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. DuRant, R., Pendergrast, R., & Cadenhead, C. (1994). Exposure to violence and victimization and fighting behavior by urban Black adolescents. Journal of Adolescent Health, 15, 311–318.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Elliott, D. (1994a). Serious violent offenders: Onset, developmental course, and termination—the American Society of Criminology 1993 presidential address. Criminology, 32, 1–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Elliott, D. (1994b). Longitudinal research in criminology: Promise and practice. In E. Weitekamp & H. Kerner (Eds.), Cross-national longitudinal research on human development and criminal behavior (pp. 189–201). The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Elliott, D., Huizinga, D., & Morse, B. (1986). Self-reported violent offending: A descriptive analysis of juvenile violent offenders and their offending careers. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 1, 472–514.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Epanchin, B. (1987). Aggressive behavior in children and adolescents. In B. Epanchin & J. Paul (Eds.), Emotional problems of childhood and adolescents (pp. 109–140). Columbus, OH: Merrill.Google Scholar
  25. Feindler, E., and Ecton, R. (1986). Adolescent anger control. New York: Pergamon.Google Scholar
  26. Felson, R., & Tedeschi, J. (1993). A social interactionist approach to violence: Cross-cultural applications. Violence and Victims, 8, 295–308.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Finklehor, D., & Dzuiba-Leatherman, J. (1994). Children as victims of violence: A national survey. Pediatrics, 94, 413–420.Google Scholar
  28. Forehand, R., King, H., Peed, S., & Yoder, P. (1975). Mother—child interactions: Comparison of a noncompliant clinic group and a non-clinic group. Behavior Research and Therapy, 13, 79–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Gladstein, J., Slater-Rusonis, E., & Heald, F. (1992). A comparison of inner-city and upper-middle-class youths’ exposure to violence. Journal of Adolescent Health, 13, 275–280.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Goetting, A. (1988). Patterns of homicide among women. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 3, 3–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Goldstein, A., Apter, S., & Harootunian, B. (1984). School violence. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  32. Goldstein, A., & Glick, B. (1987). Aggression replacement training: A comprehensive intervention for aggressive youth. Champaign, IL: Research Press.Google Scholar
  33. Guerra, N., Tolan, P., & Hammond, R. (1994). Prevention and treatment of adolescent violence. In L. Eron, J. Gentry, & P. Schlegel (Eds.), Reason to hope: A psychosocial perspective on violence and youth (pp. 383–403). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Hammond, R., & Yung, B. (1991). Preventing violence in at-risk African-American youth. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, 2, 359–373.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Hammond, R., & Yung, B. (1993). Psychology’s role in the public health response to assaultive violence among young African-American men. American Psychologist, 48, 142–154.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Hampton, R. (1987). Family violence and homicide in the black community: Are they linked? In R. Hampton (Ed.), Violence in the black family (pp. 135–156). Lexington, MA: D.C. Heath & Company.Google Scholar
  37. Hampton, R., & Newberger, E. (1985). Child abuse incidence and reporting by hospitals: Significance of severity, class, and race. American Journal of Public Health, 75, 56–60.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Hampton, R. L., & Yung, B. (1995). Violence in communities of color: Where we were, where we are, where we need to be. In T. Gullotta, R. Hampton, & P. Jenkins (Eds.), When anger governs: Preventing violence in America (pp. 53–86). Newbury Park, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  39. Harris, L. (1993). A survey of experiences, perceptions, and apprehensions about guns among young people in America. Boston: Harvard School of Public Health. Survey 930018 prepared by LH Research, Inc. for the Harvard School of Public Health under a grant from the Joyce Foundation.Google Scholar
  40. Hazel, S., Schumaker, J., Sherman, J., & Sheldon-Wildgen, J. (1981). ASSET: A social skills program for adolescents. Champaign, IL: Research Press.Google Scholar
  41. Hughes, H. (1988). Psychological and behavioral correlates of family violence in child witnesses and victims. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 58, 77–90.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Jenkins, P. (1995). Threads that link community and family violence: Issues for prevention. In T. Gullotta, R. Hampton, & P. Jenkins (Eds.), When anger governs: Preventing violence in America (pp. 33–45). Newbury Park, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  43. Jones, M., & Krisberg, B. (1994). Images and reality: Juvenile crime, youth violence and public policy. San Francisco: National Council on Crime and Delinquency.Google Scholar
  44. Kann, L., Warren, C, Harris, W, Collins, J., Douglas, K., Collins, M., Williams, B., Ross, J., & Kolbe, L. (1995). Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance—United States, 1993. Journal of School Health, 65, 163–170.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Kazdin, A. (1986). Behavior modification in applied settings. Homewood, IL: Dorsey.Google Scholar
  46. Kruttschnitt, C. (1993). Violence by and against women: A comparative and cross-national perspective. Violence and Victims, 8, 253–270.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  47. Kulig, J., Valentine, J., & Steriti, L. (1994). A correctional analysis of weapon-carrying among urban high school students: Findings from a cross-sectional survey. Journal of Adolescent Health, 15, 90. Abstract of a Presentation at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Adolescent Medicine, March 16–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Lassiter, R. (1987). Child rearing in black families: Child-abusing discipline. In R. Hampton (Ed.), Violence in the black family (pp. 3–20). Lexington, MA: D.C. Heath & Company.Google Scholar
  49. Lorian, R., & Saltzman, W. (1993). Children’s exposure to community violence: Following a path from concern to research to action. Psychiatry, 56, 55–65.Google Scholar
  50. Mercy, J., & Saltzman, L. (1989). Fatal violence among spouses in the United States, 1976–85. American Journal of Public Health, 79, 595–599.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Nelson, W., Hart, K., & Finch, A. (1993). Anger in children:A cognitive behavioral view of the assessment-therapy connection. Journal of Rational-Emotive and Cognitive-Behavior Therapy, 11, 135–150.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Novaco, R. (1976). The functions and regulations of the arousal of anger. American Journal of Psychiatry, 133, 1124–1128.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  53. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. (1993). Juveniles and violence: Juvenile offending and victimization. Fact Sheet #3, July, 1993. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice.Google Scholar
  54. Oliver, J. (1993). Intergenerational transmission of child abuse: Rates, research, and clinical implications. American Journal of Psychiatry, 150, 1315–1324.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  55. Osofsky, J., Wewers, S., Hann, D., & Fick, A. (1993). Chronic community violence: What is happening to our children? Psychiatry, 56, 36–45.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  56. Patterson, G. (1982). A social learning approach. Vol. 3. Coercive family process. Eugene, OR: Castalia.Google Scholar
  57. Patterson, G., DeBaryshe, B., & Ramsey, E. (1989). A developmental perspective on antisocial behavior. American Psychologist, 44, 329–335.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Patterson, G., Reid, J., & Dishion T. (1992). Antisocial boys. Eugene, OR: Castalia.Google Scholar
  59. Price, J., Desmond, S., & Smith, D. (1991). A preliminary investigation of inner city adolescents’ perceptions of guns. Journal of School Health, 61, 255–259.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Prothrow-Stith, D. (1987). Violence prevention curriculum for adolescents. Teenage Health Teaching Modules. Newton, MA: Education Development Center.Google Scholar
  61. Richters, J., & Martinez, P. (1993). The NIMH Community Violence Project. I: Children as victims and witnesses to violence. Psychiatry, 56, 7–21.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  62. Rokach, A. (1987). Anger and aggression control training: Replacing attack with interaction. Psychotherapy, 24, 353–362.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Rosenberg, M., & Mercy, J. (1991). Assaultive violence. In M. Rosenberg & J. Mercy (Eds.), Violence in America: A public health approach (pp. 14–50). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  64. Saltzman, L., Mercy, J., Rosenberg, M, Elsea, W., Napper, G., Sikes, K., & Waxweiler, R. (1990). Magnitude and patterns of family and intimate assault in Atlanta, Georgia, 1984. Violence and Victims, 5, 3–17.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  65. Schubiner, H., Scott, R., & Tzelepis, A. (1993). Exposure to violence among inner-city youth. Journal of Adolescent Health, 14, 214–219.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Shakoor, B., & Chalmers, D. (1991). Co-victimization of African American children who witness violence: Effects on cognitive, emotional, and behavioral development. Journal of the National Medical Association, 83, 233–237.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  67. Sheley, J., McGee, Z., & Wright, J. (1992). Gun-related violence in and around inner-city schools. American Journal of Diseases of Childhood, 146, 677–682.Google Scholar
  68. Slaby, R., & Guerra, N. (1988). Cognitive mediators of aggression in adolescent offenders. I: Assessment. Developmental Psychology, 24, 580–588.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Slaby, R., & Roedell, W. (1982). The development and regulation of aggression in young children. In J. Worrell (Ed.), Psychological development in the early years (pp. 97–149). New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  70. Spatz-Widom, C. (1989). Does violence beget violence? A critical examination of the literature. Psychological Bulletin, 106, 3–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Spatz-Widom, C. (1990). The cycle of violence. Science, 244, 160–166.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Stark, E., & Flitcraft, A. (1991). Spouse abuse. In M. Rosenberg & J. Mercy (Eds.), Violence in America: A public health approach (pp. 123–157). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  73. United States Department of Health and Human Services. (1995). Health-risk behaviors among our nation’s youth, 1992 (DHHS 95–1520). Hyattsville, MD: AuthorGoogle Scholar
  74. U.S. Department of Justice (1994). Violent crime. NCJ-147486. Washington, DC: Bureau of Justice Statistics.Google Scholar
  75. United States General Accounting Office. (1995). School safety: Promising initiatives for addressing school violence (GAO/HEHS-95–106). Washington, DC: Author.Google Scholar
  76. Valois, R., McKeown, R., Garrison, C, and Vincent, M. (1995). Correlates of aggressive and violent behaviors among public high school students. Journal of Adolescent Health, 16, 26–34.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Vega, W, Zimmerman, R., Warheit, G., Apospori, E., & Gil, A. (1993). Risk factors for early adolescent drug use in four ethnic and racial groups. American Journal of Public Health, 83, 185–189.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Webster, D., Gainer, P., & Champion, H. (1993). Weapon carrying among inner-city junior high school students: Defensive behavior vs. aggressive delinquency. American Journal of Public Health, 83, 1604–1608.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Weiss, B., Dodge, K., Bates, J., & Pettit, G. (1992). Some consequences of early harsh discipline: Child aggression and a maladaptive social information processing style. Child Development, 63, 1321–1335.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Yung, B., & Hammond, R. (1993). Evaluation and activity report: Positive Adolescent Choices Training program. Final grant report to the Ohio Governor’s Office of Criminal Justice Services. 92-DG-B01–7138.Google Scholar
  81. Yung, B., & Hammond, R. (1995). PACT. Positive Adolescent Choices Draining: A model for violence prevention groups with African-American youth. Program guide. Champaign, IL: Research Press.Google Scholar
  82. Yung, B., & Hammond, R. (1997). Antisocial behavior in minority groups: Epidemiological and cultural perspectives. In D. Stoff, J. Breiling, & J. Maser, Handbook of antisocial behavior (pp. 474–495). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Betty R. Yung
    • 1
  • W. Rodney Hammond
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Professional PsychologyWright State UniversityDaytonUSA
  2. 2.Centers for Disease ControlNational Center for Injury Prevention and ControlAtlantaUSA

Personalised recommendations