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Letter to the Editor   |    
Dr. Brook and Colleagues Reply
DAVID W. BROOK, M.D.; JUDITH S. BROOK, Ed.D.; ZOHN ROSEN, M.S.; MARIO De la ROSA, Ph.D.; IVAN D. MONTOYA, M.D., M.P.H.; MARTIN WHITEMAN, Ph.D.
Am J Psychiatry 2004;161:931-b-932. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.161.5.931-b
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To the Editor: We appreciate Mr. Vaughn’s comment that our research contributes to furthering the understanding of cross-cultural factors related to adolescent violence. We agree with this comment, and we noted in our research report that future investigations should include "multiple measures of violent activity and other scales with known associations to juvenile violence" (p. 1476). In addition, this would enable researchers to examine factors related to different typologies of violent behavior. Mr. Vaughn suggests that the analyses should be conducted with control on a measure of social desirability. In response to his suggestion, we reexamined the relationships between violent behaviors and the personality, family, peer, and ecological factors studied with control on a measure of social desirability. The findings were not appreciably different from those reported in our research report. This reanalysis enhances our conclusion that both internal and external factors are important predictors of violent behaviors.

In summary, Colombia is a society whose cultural and contextual environment differs greatly from that of the United States. As noted in our article, there may be significant risk factors for violent behavior that are truly universal.

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