Legal Cynicism and Parental Appraisals of Adolescent Violence
Links to Fileshttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4055156/
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Type of Work24 pages
Citation of Original PublicationBrian Soller, Aubrey L. Jackson, and Christopher R. Browning, Legal Cynicism and Parental Appraisals of Adolescent Violence, Br J Criminol. 2014 Jul; 54(4): 568–591 (2014), doi: 10.1093/bjc/azu027
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This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in The British Journal of Criminology following peer review. The version of record Brian Soller, Aubrey L. Jackson, and Christopher R. Browning, Legal Cynicism and Parental Appraisals of Adolescent Violence, Br J Criminol. 2014 Jul; 54(4): 568–591 (2014), doi: https://doi.org/10.1093/bjc/azu027 is available online at: https://doi.org/10.1093/bjc/azu027.
Research suggests that legal cynicism—a cultural frame in which the law is viewed as illegitimate and ineffective—encourages violence to maintain personal safety when legal recourse is unreliable. But no study has tested the impact of legal cynicism on appraisals of violence. Drawing from symbolic interaction theory and cultural sociology, we tested whether neighbourhood legal cynicism alters the extent to which parents appraise their children’s violence as indicative of aggressive or impulsive temperaments using data from the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods. We find that legal cynicism attenuates the positive association between adolescent violence and parental assessments of aggression and impulsivity. Our study advances the understanding of micro-level processes through which prevailing cultural frames in the neighbourhood shape violence appraisals.