Pathways to Violence Propensity: Results from a Two-Year Study of Young Males in Urban South Africa

Thursday, 19 July 2018: 10:30
Oral Presentation
Ian EDELSTEIN, Human Sciences Research Council, South Africa
This study followed 288 males aged 11-23 years-old from a general population sample in Khayelitsha, Cape Town, South Africa over a 12 month, two wave period to assess factors associated with risk for engagement in interpersonal violence and criminality. In Structural Equation Modelling, a pathway emerged through which an unstable home environment, influenced by deprivation and violence, affects the quality and consistency of parenting perceived by young male subjects. In turn, early deviant associations and attitudes toward violence and gangs are cultivated and these may have a deleterious effect on schooling and, with this, a subject’s orientation toward the future and the present value of investment (of schooling efforts) for delayed gratification. This violence potential and weak school attachment manifests in greater future substance abuse and, in turn, much greater exposure to and acceptance of instrumental violence and criminal associations. Policy implications and suggestions for further research are discussed.