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Complexity of Risk: Mixed-Methods Approach to Understanding Youth Risk and Insecurity in Postconflict Settings


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Taylor, Laura K. and Merrilees, Christine E. and Čorkalo Biruški, Dinka and Ajduković, Dean and Cummings, E. Mark. (2017). Complexity of Risk: Mixed-Methods Approach to Understanding Youth Risk and Insecurity in Postconflict Settings. Journal of Adolescent Research, 32(5). pp. 585-613. ISSN 1552-6895

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In settings of intergroup conflict, identifying contextually relevant risk factors for youth development is an important task. In Vukovar, Croatia, a city devastated during the war in former Yugoslavia, ethno-political tensions remain. The current study utilized a mixed-methods approach to identify two salient community-level risk factors (ethnic tension and general antisocial behavior) and related emotional insecurity responses (ethnic and nonethnic insecurity) among youth in Vukovar. In Study 1, focus group discussions (N = 66) with mothers, fathers, and adolescents of age 11 to 15 years old were analyzed using the constant comparative method, revealing two types of risk and insecurity responses. In Study 2, youth (N = 227, 58% male, M = 15.88, SD = 1.12 years) responded to quantitative scales developed from the focus groups, discriminate validity was demonstrated, and path analyses established predictive validity between each type of risk and insecurity. First, community ethnic tension (i.e., threats related to war/ethnic identity) significantly predicted ethnic insecurity for all youth (β = .41, p < .001). Second, experience with community antisocial behavior (i.e., general crime found in any context) predicted nonethnic community insecurity for girls (β = .32, p < .05) but not for boys. These findings are the first to show multiple forms of emotional insecurity at the community level; implications for future research are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: youth risk factors, interethnic tension, community violence, protracted conflict, emotional security, Croatia
Subjects: Psychology > Socijalna psihologija
Departments: Department of Psychology
Date Deposited: 25 Oct 2017 09:41
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2017 09:41

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