Predicting effects of the self and contextual factors on violence : a comparison between school students and youth offenders in macau

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Original languageEnglish
Article number258
Journal / PublicationInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number2
Online published3 Feb 2018
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018



This study was designed to explore the self and contextual factors for violence in two samples of school students and youth offenders in Macau. There were 3085 participants who were between 12 and 20 years old; 48.3% of them were male and 51.7% female. Findings revealed that youth offenders exhibited more violence than school students. For the self factors, while lower self-esteem and higher self-efficacy of school students were associated with more violent behavior, these two variables had no significant effects for youth offenders. For the contextual factors, family conflict was the strongest predictor of violence, and school commitment/attachment was the weakest predictor for both samples. For youth offenders, family conflict had the largest direct effect, followed by susceptibility to negative peer influence and influence of the Triad gangs, while school commitment/attachment had a significant though mild direct effect. For school students, family conflict mediated the effect of self-esteem and self-efficacy on violence. While Triad gangs’ influence was the second strongest predictor of violence, being exposed to Triad gangs’ influence also mediated the effect of self-esteem and self-efficacy on violence. It is recommended that youth outreach services with a focus on family support and gang detachment for at-risk youth be strengthened.

Research Area(s)

  • Family conflict, Macau, Self-efficacy, Self-esteem, Triad gangs, Violence

Citation Format(s)

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