Behaviour/emotional problems in male juvenile delinquents and controls in Russia: the role of personality traits.
Previous research with the US inner-city youth demonstrated the hazardous effects of community violence exposure. It remains unclear, however, whether these findings are generalizable to other cultures and populations. Furthermore, the role of factors influencing the processing of traumatic events such as personality has not been investigated. Two groups of Russian adolescents (community youth (N = 546) and male delinquents (N = 352)) completed questionnaires assessing their exposure to community violence, conduct problems, internalizing psychopathology and personality. The study demonstrates that the relationships between exposure to violence and psychopathology are similar across different populations within the same culture (community youth and juvenile delinquents), suggesting similar mechanisms behind this phenomenon. The patterns of these relationships were also similar for boys and girls, suggesting similarities in the mechanisms across gender. Hence, the effects of community violence exposure are generalizable to other cultures outside the US. The associations between personality traits and specific types of behaviors also tend to be similar across different populations. Higher levels of novelty seeking were related to more severe problem behaviors and to higher levels of witnessing and victimization, whereas higher levels of harm avoidance were related to higher levels of depression and posttraumatic stress.