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Community violence: A meta-analysis on the effect of exposure and mental health outcomes of children and adolescents

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 January 2009

Patrick J. Fowler*
Affiliation:
Wayne State University
Carolyn J. Tompsett
Affiliation:
Wayne State University
Jordan M. Braciszewski
Affiliation:
Wayne State University
Angela J. Jacques-Tiura
Affiliation:
Wayne State University
Boris B. Baltes
Affiliation:
Wayne State University
*
Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Patrick J. Fowler, Department of Psychology, Wayne State University, Maccabees Building, 7th Floor, 5057 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, MI 48201; E-mail: pfowler@wayne.edu.

Abstract

Meta-analytic techniques were used to estimate the effects of exposure to community violence on mental health outcomes across 114 studies. Community violence had its strongest effects on posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and externalizing problems and smallest impact on other internalizing symptoms. Victimization by community violence most predicted symptomatology compared to witnessing or hearing about community violence. Witnessing community violence had a greater effect than hearing about violence on externalizing problems, but both types of exposure had an equal impact on other internalizing problems. PTSD symptoms were equally predicted by victimization, witnessing, or hearing about community violence. Compared to children, adolescents reported a stronger relationship between externalizing behaviors and exposure, whereas children exhibited greater internalizing problems than did adolescents.

Type
Regular Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2009

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Community violence: A meta-analysis on the effect of exposure and mental health outcomes of children and adolescents
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