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NCJ Number: 196729 Find in a Library
Title: Violence Exposure, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, and Depressive Symptoms Among Recent Immigrant Schoolchildren
Journal: Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry  Volume:41  Issue:9  Dated:September 2002  Pages:1104-1110
Author(s): Lisa H. Jaycox Ph.D.; Bradley D. Stein M.D.; Sheryl H. Kataoka M.D.; Marleen Wong M.S.W; Arlene Fink Ph.D.; Pia Escudero M.S.W; Catalina Zaragoza M.S.W
Date Published: September 2002
Page Count: 7
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses the effects of witnessing domestic violence on recent immigrant children.
Abstract: Up to half of U.S. schoolchildren are victims of violence. An even greater number may be traumatized by witnessing violence. Significant portions of schoolchildren are recent immigrants to the United States. These are at a high risk for exposure to violence for three reasons: first, they may have been exposed to violence in their countries of origin; second, they may have experienced violence during the migration process; and third, many are poor, a condition associated with increased risk of violence. Recent studies show that youths exposed to traumatic events such as violence may suffer from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and anxiety. This study examined how immigrant children were affected by exposure to violence. The study posed the following questions: To what extent were these children exposed to violence? To what extent were these children suffering from emotional distress related to violence exposure, in the form of PTSD and depression? And were specific patterns of violence exposure related to PTSD and depression? The study found that recent immigrant children were exposed to high levels of violence in both their countries of origin and the United States, with a child being exposed to 1.2 violent events in the previous year. Approximately one-third of the children scored in the clinical range on the Child PTSD Symptom Scale. Fewer scored in the clinical range for depressive symptoms. The study found a strong correlation between a child’s exposure to violence and PTSD symptoms. The authors of the study state immigrants are less likely to receive necessary mental health services than are native-born citizens. Thus, the study illustrates the need for intervention in the immigration population to help immigrant children handle and process their violent experiences. References
Main Term(s): Children at risk; Victims of violent crime
Index Term(s): Immigrants/Aliens; Juvenile witnesses; Post-trauma stress disorder (PTSD); Violence
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