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NCJ Number: 196093 Find in a Library
Title: Impact of Community Violence on Children and Parents: Developments of Contextual Assessments
Journal: Trauma, Violence, & Abuse  Volume:3  Issue:3  Dated:July 2002  Pages:194-209
Author(s): Lori F. Phelps; Michael R. McCart; W. Hobart Davies
Date Published: July 2002
Page Count: 16
Type: Measurement/Evaluation Device
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses the impact of community violence and the methods of assessment used in research of this issue.
Abstract: Youth in urban areas are exposed to large amounts of community violence that can lead to psychological distress. Self-report measures are the most commonly used methods of assessing youth’s reactions to community violence but these measures have some limitations. They are susceptible to a defensive test-taking approach, characterized by a denial of stress-related symptoms. Symptom-based assessment tools may have limited utility with youth experiencing affective blunting associated with post-traumatic stress disorder. These instruments are context free and fail to consider environmental influences on behavior. The literature review suggests that although children can report on their behavior at an early age, their ability to self-monitor thoughts and feelings does not develop until about the age of 8. Symptom-focused self-report measures provide an incomplete and simplistic picture of an individual because they ignore context on multiple levels. A new, more complete method of assessment is advocated, one that moves past individual symptoms and focuses on the context-specific difficulties youth experience following exposure to violence. The behavior analytic model does not emphasize measuring pathology but assessing effective coping. An advantage of developing a context-specific tool such as the behavior analytic model is that it can facilitate the evaluation of an intervention and provide concrete examples of the way in which an individual responds to difficulties and can be administered before and after the intervention. The limitations of the context-specific instruments developed via behavior analytic model are that it is time and labor intensive, its applicability is limited, and short- and long-term effectiveness cannot be directly observed. 95 references
Main Term(s): Self-report studies; Violence
Index Term(s): Data collections; Post-trauma stress disorder (PTSD); Psychological research; Research methods; Surveys; Victim reactions to crime
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