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Adolescent exposure to and attitudes toward violence: Empirical evidence from Bangladesh

K.A.S. Murshid and Nadine Shaanta Murshid

Children and Youth Services Review, 2019, vol. 98, issue C, 85-95

Abstract: Children and adolescents are increasingly exposed to violence amidst structural change across the world, raising the question whether development and violence are profoundly connected. Using data from a sample of 520 adolescents from rural and urban Bangladesh, this study explores the nature, structure, prevalence, correlates, and context of exposure to violence in terms of individual, household, and community characteristics. Further, it examines the association between adolescents' exposure to violence and their attitudes toward violence. Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) was used to validate scales of exposure and attitudes toward violence. EFA revealed that the items that indicate exposure to violence can be divided into high exposure items (>10%) and low exposure items (<10%) that can be divided into four distinct factors: witnessing garden-variety violence, witnessing severe violence, sexual harassment, and direct experience of violence. The attitude toward violence factors that were salient for this population were fear, disposition to retaliate, and willingness to use a lethal weapon in the process. Additionally, we found that fear was significantly informed by exposure to violence, disposition to retaliate was found to be widespread and significantly higher among girls, while, disposition to use weapons was linked to direct experiences of violence. Different types of violence were found to be associated with different locational and individual characteristics.

Keywords: Exposure to violence; Attitudes toward violence; Adolescents; Asia; Bangladesh (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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