The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA

4050.0: Tuesday, November 12, 2002 - 9:30 AM

Abstract #50200

Transition to middle school and the prediction of violent behaviors

Andrea N LaFazia-Nielsen, MSW1, Tracy Harachi, MSW, PhD2, Richard F. Catalano, PhD2, and Michelle Bell, MSW, PhD1. (1) School of Public Health & Community Medicine, Maternal and Child Health Program (MCH) and School of Social Work, SDRG, University of Washington, Box 357230, Seattle, WA 98195-7230, (206)543-6764,, (2) School of Social Work, Social Development Research Group (SDRG), University of Washington, 9725 3rd Ave. NE Suite 401, Seattle, WA 98115

Objectives: 1) Describe the relationship between the transition to middle school and youth violence. 2) Describe the relationships between Social Development Model constructs and violent behavior at the transition to middle school. Background: Recent studies suggest that the transition from elementary school to middle school increases the risk for youth problem behaviors, including substance abuse, delinquency and school failure.1,2,3,4 This transition involves many changes in the school environment, including changes in the curricula, teaching styles, class schedules and grading techniques. Additionally, youth are also in the midst of many other physical and social changes, including puberty, the desire for autonomy and distance from parents, as well as the psychological changes that accompany the emergence of sexuality.5 Few comparable studies have been conducted using longitudinal data looking specifically at the transition to middle school and the occurrence of violent behavior(s). This study extends research by using the Social Development Model (SDM) to predict youth violent behaviors. The SDM is a theory of human behavior that explains the development of antisocial and prosocial behaviors through predictive developmental relationships.6,7 Methods: Student self-reported data from a suburban school district in Washington State was used for this study. Multivariate linear regression is used to examine predictors of violent behaviors that occur at the transition to middle school. Results: Results are useful for the development of public health policies and prevention programs aiming to decrease the risks associated with school transitions.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the session participants will be able to

Keywords: Adolescents, Youth Violence

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Outstanding Student Papers in Maternal and Child Health

The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA