[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This article describes the change in border dynamics of the Laredo–Nuevo Laredo U.S.–Mexican border
during the first decade of the 21st century. While the sharing and blending of cultures has long been
considered an integral part of the regional identity, publicity related to crime in Mexico and fear of the
potential for spillover crime has created a significant degree of separation between the two communities
that once lived as one. In terms of social construction of place, the Rio Grande boundary separating the
sister cities was relatively meaningless for many years as laborers, shoppers and tourists crossed easily
between the two nations. The integrated cultural bond has moved towards a coexistence favoring growth
in the Laredo economy while Nuevo Laredo struggles.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bullying behavior continues to be a salient social and health-related issue of importance to educators, criminal justice practitioners, and academicians across the country. While discourse on school bullying is abundant, previous studies are limited in explaining the predictive effect of factors such as individual/demographic variables, school environmental variables, and school antibullying preventive measures. Using a nationally representative sample of 12,987 private and public school students in the United States, the current study examines school safety measures and students’ perceptions about school environments (or climate), especially school rules and punishment. Findings reveal that the variables of security guards, fairness and awareness of school rules, gangs and guns at school, students misbehaving, and teachers’ punishment of students were statistically significant predictors of bullying victimization. Implications of these findings for school anti-bullying programs as well as directions for future research are discussed.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose – This study attempts to determine how political legitimacy and regime change affect the level of public confidence in the Mexican police. The current study also aims to examine to what extent socioeconomic and attitudinal factors are associated with levels of police confidence among Mexican citizens. Design/methodology/approach – The data used in this study were obtained from two Mexican surveys conducted as part of the World Value Surveys (WVS) in 1996 and 2005. Owing to the nature of the dependent variable, a series of ordinal logistic regression analyses was employed to examine the effects of political legitimacy, regime change, attitudinal, and socioeconomic factors on public confidence in the Mexican police while controlling other relevant factors. Findings – Consistent with prior research, results confirmed that public confidence in the police was positively associated with political legitimacy (i.e. support for regime institutions and system support), happiness, life satisfaction, marital status, and religious activity. Yet, age, education, and size of the town were negatively related to public confidence. Research limitations/implications – Since the current study used secondary data, the availability of information was limited. Only one nation was studied which limits the generalizability of the findings. Future research may attempt to study other Latin-American nations, including Mexico, in order to address the issue of public confidence in policing on a greater scale. Further, as the police alone cannot take full credit in the public's perception of law enforcement, it is imperative that future studies also examine other government agencies (i.e. courts, prosecutors) that may lend more information on this subject. Originality/value – While the police and some governing agencies may not be able to change most of the factors studied in this research, they can strive to cultivate better trust among the citizenry and seek to improve quality of life in neighborhoods which may lead to greater happiness and life satisfaction factors that may then increase the level of confidence in the police.
Policing An International Journal of Police Strategies and Management 03/2012; 35(1):124-146. DOI:10.1108/13639511211215487 · 0.55 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In 2011 the field of video game violence experienced serious reversals with repudiations of the current research by the US Supreme Court and the Australian Government as non-compelling and fundamentally flawed. Scholars too have been calling for higher quality research on this issue. The current study seeks to answer this call by providing longitudinal data on youth aggression and dating violence as potential consequences of violent video game exposure using well-validated clinical outcome measures and controlling for other relevant predictors of youth aggression.
A sample of 165, mainly Hispanic youth, were tested at 3 intervals, an initial interview, and 1-year and 3-year intervals.
Results indicated that exposure to video game violence was not related to any of the negative outcomes. Depression, antisocial personality traits, exposure to family violence and peer influences were the best predictors of aggression-related outcomes.
The current study supports a growing body of evidence pointing away from video game violence use as a predictor of youth aggression. Public policy efforts, including funding, would best be served by redirecting them toward other prevention programs for youth violence.
Journal of Psychiatric Research 11/2011; 46(2):141-6. DOI:10.1016/j.jpsychires.2011.10.014 · 3.96 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Previous research offered little guidance on sentencing outcomes for protection order (PO) violations in cases of domestic assault and whether PO violation charges affected offender recidivism rates. Using data from local court records, this study examined the effect of PO violation charges on the odds of case conviction relative to dismissal, and whether case conviction or a PO violation charge results in lower domestic violence rearrest rates compared to offenders not receiving these sanctions. The models indicate that PO violation charges has no significant effect on the odds of conviction or recidivism rates, and these trends were not significantly different for convicted versus dismissed offenders. Findings are discussed in relation to previous research with recommendations for future areas of study.
Violence and Victims 08/2011; 26(4):395-409. DOI:10.1891/0886-6708.26.4.395 · 1.28 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Immigration, particularly the illegal immigration of Mexicans, has emerged as one of the nation’s foremost social problems. This study explores attitudes toward illegal immigrants among a sample of Hispanic college students of primarily Mexican decent ( N = 216). Through an intrarace inquiry strategy, we examine whether illegal immigrants (a) are a growing problem in the United States, (b) contribute to the decline of society, and (c) are more likely than other groups in the United States to break the law. Findings reveal that college students with positive attitudes toward Mexico and the Mexican culture were more likely to hold negative attitudes toward illegal immigrants. Gender, annual household income, and college major were also found to be statistically significant predictors of attitude toward illegal immigrants. As Hispanics constitute the largest voting minority group, the impact of the findings on public policy, including implications for the criminal justice system, are discussed.
Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice 04/2011; 27(1):95-109. DOI:10.1177/1043986211402251
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To examine the multivariate nature of risk factors for youth violence including delinquent peer associations, exposure to domestic violence in the home, family conflict, neighborhood stress, antisocial personality traits, depression level, and exposure to television and video game violence.
A population of 603 predominantly Hispanic children (ages 10-14 years) and their parents or guardians responded to multiple behavioral measures. Outcomes included aggression and rule-breaking behavior on the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL), as well as violent and nonviolent criminal activity and bullying behavior.
Delinquent peer influences, antisocial personality traits, depression, and parents/guardians who use psychological abuse in intimate relationships were consistent risk factors for youth violence and aggression. Neighborhood quality, parental use of domestic violence in intimate relationships, and exposure to violent television or video games were not predictive of youth violence and aggression.
Childhood depression, delinquent peer association, and parental use of psychological abuse may be particularly fruitful avenues for future prevention or intervention efforts.
The Journal of pediatrics 09/2009; 155(6):904-908.e3. DOI:10.1016/j.jpeds.2009.06.021 · 3.79 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore lawsuits involving police response to domestic violence incidents. Focusing on the specific legal remedy of due process under Section 1983, the paper seeks to examine federal case law dealing with police response to domestic violence victims. The paper also aims to discuss differences in procedural and substantive due process violations, highlighting circumstances under which the police may be held liable for improper response to domestic violence incidents. Design/methodology/approach – This paper qualitatively examines relevant Section 1983 federal court decisions (n=27 as of May, 2008) identified through a query of Lexis Nexis for the last ten years (before and after Castle Rock) dealing with lawsuits arising from domestic abuse investigations. Findings – The preponderance of cases have resulted in dismissals of summary judgments filed against police officers and agencies for allegations that the police violated plaintiffs' due process rights. The recent Supreme Court decision in Town of Castle Rock v. Gonzales has prevented plaintiffs from seeking relief under procedural due process; however, domestic abuse victims have been successful to some extent using substantive due process as a basis for civil action. Plaintiffs have prevailed in federal courts alleging that the police acted with deliberate indifference or conscious disregard for victims' civil rights. Research limitations/implications – The paper is limited to federal court decisions involving due process violations and does not account for factors resulting in state tort negligence lawsuits filed against the police. Moreover, federal courts will likely continue to use substantive due process as a Section 1983 remedy for domestic violence victims as research and awareness on domestic violence policy evolves. Practical implications – The paper suggests that police agencies should take note of recent court decisions applicable to their jurisdictions as domestic violence enforcement policy remains fragmented. Agencies should ensure that police dispatcher 911 call classification policies are current and that training guidelines comport with these policies. Originality/value – Given the prevalence of domestic violence in the USA, police agencies should expect increases in the number of lawsuits filed against the police for violations of substantive due process.
Policing An International Journal of Police Strategies and Management 05/2009; 32(2):319-337. DOI:10.1108/13639510910958208 · 0.55 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Youth violence, including bullying and other serious violent behaviors, has received increased political and scientific attention over the past several decades. Although violent behavior among youth and in the schools has declined over the past decade, the victimization of children by other children in school settings remains a major issue of concern. In response, a number of prevention and intervention programs have been developed to reduce the incidence of bullying and violence in schools. This meta-analysis attempted to examine the effect of school-based anti-bullying programs. Results suggested a significant effect for anti-bullying programs (r = .12). However, this result seemed to be slightly influenced by publication bias and did not meet the adopted threshold for “practical significance.” The effect for programs targeted specifically at at-risk youth was slightly better, but overall, anti-bullying programs produce little discernible effect on youth participants. Reasons that anti-bullying programs may produce little effective change are discussed.