Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



Previous research has documented an association between adolescents’ exposure to community violence and a range of mental health problems. However, some violence-exposed youth maintain high levels of adaptive behavior and exhibit good psychological functioning. Thus, it appears that protective and/or risk factors are involved in the community violence-psychological outcome relation, which mitigate the conditions under which community violence exposure leads to adverse adolescent outcome. According to the ecological transactional model, protective and/or risk factors may exist within the family that influence adolescent outcome in response to community violence exposure. The purpose of this study was to delineate the relations among community violence exposure and family factors, including family violence and parental psychopathology, on adolescent psychological symptomatology and personal adjustment. Participants consisted of 121 pairs of junior high or high school students and their parent/guardian. Adolescents completed the Screen for Adolescent Violence Exposure, the Trauma Symptom Checklist for Children, and the Behavior Assessment System for Children-Self Report of Personality. The parents/guardians competed a Demographic Questionnaire, the Behavior Assessment System for Children-Parent Report, the Symptom Checklist-90-R, and the Posttraumatic Stress Diagnostic Scale. Hierarchical regression analyses were conducted and results indicated that family violence exposure did not serve as a moderator variable in the association between adolescent community violence exposure and positive or negative adolescent outcome. In contrast, parental psychopathology was found to be a moderator variable in the relationship between community violence exposure and adolescent-rated PTSD and psychological distress, but not in the relationship between community violence exposure and parent-rated adolescent internalizing and externalizing problems or adolescent-rated personal adjustment. Clinical implications and limitations of this study are discussed.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Mary Lou Kelley



Included in

Psychology Commons