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Bhatt, G., Tweed, R., Dooley, S., Viljoen, J., Douglas, K., Gagnon, N., Besla, K. (2012). Gender differences in character strengths, social connections, and beliefs about crime among adolescents. International Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities Studies, Vol. 4, No 1 2012 ISSN: 1309-8063 (Online).

Gender differences in character strengths, social connections, and beliefs about crime among adolescents

Dr. Gira Bhatt, Dr. Roger Tweed, Steve Dooley, Dr. Jodi Viljoen, Dr. Kevin Douglas, Dr. Nathalie Gagnon and Kashmir Besla

Most gang-involved youth in Canada are predominantly males (94%) and between the age of 16 and 18 (Youth Gangs in Canada, 2007). However, young adolescent girls are now increasingly seen among youth gangs (Girls, Gangs, and Sexual Exploitation in British Columbia, 2010). Within the strength-based framework for research targeting social problems such as youth violence and criminal gang activities (Tweed, Bhatt, Dooley, Spindler, Douglas, & Viljoen, 2011), a study was conducted in local high schools in British Columbia, Canada, in which 194 boys and 226 girls aged 12 to 14 participated. The results of the preliminary analyses of the data indicated several gender differences among the participants’ character strengths, social connections, and cognitive beliefs pertaining to violence. Boys in comparison to girls, reported a higher level of self-esteem, and a stronger belief in violence as a way to deal with conflicts. Girls reported higher satisfaction in the area of friendship than boys. Additionally, girls reported higher levels of parental monitoring of where they were, who they were with and what they were doing. These preliminary findings suggest that prevention strategies would serve the youth well when they are derived from a targeted gendered strategies with a focus on a strength-based approach for a positive adolescent development.

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Spindler, A. & Bouchard, M. (2011 in press). Structure or behavior? Revisiting gang typologies. International Criminal Justice Review.

Structure or behavior? Revisiting gang typologies

Andrea Spindler and Martin Bouchard

A consistent finding of research on delinquency has been that gang members show higher levels of delinquent behavior than non-gang members. However, research attempting to understand the mechanisms underlying this finding is lacking. The basic premise of the current article is that the level of organization found in delinquent groups and gangs matters in clarifying the relationship between membership and delinquency.

Thandi, G. (2011). Reducing substance abuse and intimate partner violence in Punjabi Sikh communities. Sikh Formations, 7(2), 177-193.

Reducing substance abuse and intimate partner violence in Punjabi Sikh communities

Gary Thandi

This article outlines the importance of exploring spirituality in working with Punjabi Sikh men who have substance abuse issues and have committed violence towards their spouse. Seventeen in-depth interviews were conducted with South Asian front-line workers that included police officers, probation officers, counselors, social workers, child protection workers and victim service workers. The audio-taped data were transcribed and analyzed by identification of themes and subthemes. Participant comments around religion and the role it can play in prevention and intervention are highlighted. Front-line social service practitioners who work with Punjabi Sikh men need to consider the role the men’s religious beliefs can play in substance abuse and intimate partner violence interventions.

Tweed, R., Bhatt, G., Dooley, S., Spindler, A., Douglas, K. S., & Viljoen, J. (2011). Youth violence and positive psychology: Research potential through integration. Canadian Psychology, 52(2), 26-29.

Youth violence and positive psychology: Research potential through integration

Dr. Roger Tweed, Dr. Gira Bhatt, Steve Dooley, Andrea Spindler, Dr. Kevin Douglas and Dr. Jodi Viljoen

Positive psychologists can study the relation between some of the discipline’s core dimensions and aversive outcomes including youth violence. Dimensions such as gratitude, forgiveness, sense of meaning, altruism (or at least apparent altruism), prudence, and humility have received attention within positive psychology, and evidence is reviewed suggesting that these may also deserve empirical attention in terms of their relation to youth violence and even their potential to reduce youth violence.


Tweed, R., & DeLongis, A. (2009). Cross-Cultural Resilience Research on Youth: Avoiding Methodological Hazards. In Linda Liebenberg & Michael Ungar (Eds.), Researching resilience (p. 155-179). Toronto, ON: University of Toronto Press.

Cross-Cultural Resilience Research on Youth: Avoiding Methodological Hazards

Dr. Roger Tweed and Anita DeLongis

Cross-cultural resilience research with youth can encounter many methodological hazards. This chapter describes some of the hazards including nay-saying, extremism, the reference effect, translation problems, imposed etic research, non comparable samples, reducing the audience by studying cultural groups and not cultural dimensions, cultural distrust, and idiosyncratic questionnaire statements. Strategies for managing these hazards are proposed.