Relationship Proximity to Victims of Witnessed Community Violence: Associations With Adolescent Internalizing and Externalizing Behaviors

Department of Psychology, George Washington University,Washington, DC 20052, USA.
American Journal of Orthopsychiatry (Impact Factor: 1.36). 01/2012; 82(1):1-9. DOI: 10.1111/j.1939-0025.2011.01135.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Witnessing community violence has been linked with several adverse outcomes for adolescents, including emotional and behavioral problems. Among youth who have witnessed community violence, proximity to the victim of community violence is one factor that may determine, in part, the nature of adolescents' responses to community violence exposure. The present study examines whether relationship proximity to the victim of community violence is associated with internalizing and externalizing behaviors among a sample of urban and predominantly African American adolescents (N = 501) who have witnessed community violence. In 10th grade, participants reported whether they had witnessed 10 community violence events during the past year, and, if so, whether the victim of the violence was a family member, close friend, acquaintance, or stranger. Witnessed community violence against a family member or close friend was associated with depressive symptoms, and witnessed community violence against known individuals was associated with anxiety symptoms. Witnessing community violence against familiar persons and strangers was linked with aggressive behavior. Gender differences in these associations and implications for assessment and intervention with community violence-exposed youth are discussed.

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Available from: Rhonda C Boyd, Sep 27, 2015
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    • "Jacques-Tiura, & Baltes, 2009; and Lynch, 2003, for reviews). For instance, results from a number of cross-sectional (e.g., Ceballo, Ramirez, Hearn, & Maltese, 2003; Shahinfar, Fox, & Leavitt, 2000; Turner et al., 2006; Zinzow et al., 2009) and longitudinal (e.g., Kennedy, Bybee, Sullivan, & Greeson, 2010; Lambert et al., 2010) studies suggest that exposure to community violence is associated with symptoms of depression, controlling for a range of covariates. Anxiety symptoms, such as generalized anxiety, separation anxiety, and specific phobias, comprise another commonly cited correlate of youth CVE (Cooley-Quille, Boyd, Frantz, & Walsh, 2001; Horowitz, McKay, & Marshall, 2005). "
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    ABSTRACT: A plethora of research on the psychological consequences of community violence exposure among youth has conceptualized and measured community violence as a single, homogenous construct that indiscriminately gives rise to a wide range of outcomes. However, it is increasingly recognized that community violence exposure is comprised of many disparate characteristics. Thus, a more dimensional theoretical approach to the study of community violence exposure is proposed; such an approach will more precisely clarify how community violence exposure is differentially associated with specific outcomes. In particular, the dimensions of type, severity, physical proximity, relational proximity (familiarity with the persons involved), and chronicity of community violence exposure are suggested as potential moderating factors that may each, individually and in interaction, differentially impact youths' well-being. In order to account for greater contextual complexity in children's experiences of community violence, several recommendations for new methodological approaches and research directions are proposed and discussed. Such a theoretical shift is critical to advance our understanding of the processes underlying the links between community violence exposure and youth outcomes, as well as to inform more targeted and effective interventions for youth exposed to community violence.
    Review of General Psychology 06/2014; 18(2). DOI:10.1037/gpr0000005 · 1.78 Impact Factor
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    • "Exposure to violence during childhood and adolescence, in terms of both direct victimization and secondary exposures such as witnessing violent acts, puts youth at increased risk for a number of adverse health and behavioral outcomes. These adverse outcomes include depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorder [6] [7], aggressive behavior [8] [9], suicide ideation [10], and declines in school achievements and high school completion [11] [12]. Violence victimization can also lead to feelings of despondency about having a happy or long life and feelings of being uncared for or unloved [13]. "
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    ABSTRACT: To inform a city-wide youth Violence Prevention Initiative, we explored youth narratives about their exposure to violence to gain insight into their understanding of the causes and effects of violence in their communities. At-risk youth were recruited through street outreach for individual interviews and focus group sessions. Types of experiential violence identified included (1) street, (2) family/interpersonal, (3) school, (4) indirect exposure (e.g., neighborhood crime), and (5) prejudice/discrimination. Reactions ranged from motivating positive effects (resilience, determination to escape) to negative effects (fear, paranoia, and aggression). For some, experiences with violence motivated them to pursue educational achievement and positive lifestyles. Causes of violence were described by participants as existing at a number of different levels (societal, neighborhood, interpersonal, and individual), reflecting a social-ecological perspective. Our findings highlight a need for violence prevention efforts that focus on a broad definition of violence, as well as on the poly-victimization of children and youth. At the same time, our findings highlight the challenges of conducting effective community-based prevention programs in urban settings characterized by spatial inequalities and social exclusion of community residents.
    01/2014; 2014. DOI:10.1155/2014/368047
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    ABSTRACT: This study examined whether the influences of multiple maternal criminal justice involvement (MCJI), community adversity, and violence exposure on children's internalizing and externalizing behaviors were moderated by race. The study included 409 children of criminal justice and child welfare involved mothers, ages 5–15 who participated in the National Survey on Child and Adolescent Well-Being (NSCAW). Results indicated that race, defined as Black vs. non-Black, moderated the associations between multiple MCJI and internalizing and externalizing behaviors. Decomposition of the regression effects indicated that non-Black children exposed to multiple MCJI, as compared to non-Black children who were not exposed to multiple MCJI, exhibited significant increases in both internalizing and externalizing behaviors, while Black children who experience multiple MCJI, on average, showed no increases. Similarly, race moderated the association between exposure to community adversity and externalizing behaviors. The decomposition of regression effects indicated that non-Black children who experienced higher levels of community adversity exhibited increases in externalizing behaviors, while Black children showed no increases. Criminal justice and child welfare practice and policy implications are discussed.
    Children and Youth Services Review 03/2013; 35(3):472–481. DOI:10.1016/j.childyouth.2012.12.022 · 1.27 Impact Factor
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