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NCJ Number: 204250 Find in a Library
Title: Gender Differences in Posttraumatic Stress and Related Symptoms Among Inner-City Minority Youth Exposed to Community Violence
Journal: Journal of Youth and Adolescence  Volume:33  Issue:1  Dated:February 2004  Pages:59-69
Author(s): Jennifer D. Foster; Gabriel P. Kuperminc; Ann W. Price
Date Published: February 2004
Page Count: 11
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Netherlands
Annotation: Using a sample of inner-city predominantly African-American youth, this study examined gender differences in their levels of exposure to violence and in posttraumatic stress (PS) and related symptomatology.
Abstract: The sample was composed of 84 boys and 62 girls from 10 Boys and Girls Clubs in a major southeastern metropolitan area. Given high crime rates in the communities served by the clubs, all youth who were attending these programs were considered to be at high risk for exposure to community violence. Self-report information was collected on each participant's demographic background, exposure to community violence, and levels of posttraumatic stress and related symptoms. The instruments used were an adaptation of the Children's Exposure to Community Violence Checklist and the Trauma Symptom Checklist for Children. Preliminary analyses examined correlations of age with exposure to community violence and levels of PS symptoms. Questions regarding gender differences in levels of exposure to community violence and in levels of PS symptoms were addressed by using multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA). Follow-up analyses were conducted to determine gender differences in the types of community violence to which girls and boys were exposed. As hypothesized, girls reported higher levels of anxiety, depression, and PS symptoms than boys. No gender differences were found in levels of anger or dissociation. For girls, the associations of psychological symptoms with witnessing violence were similar to those for being a victim of violence. In contrast, for boys the associations of symptoms with victimization were stronger than those for witnessing violence. Whereas girls and boys who witnessed low levels of community violence reported similar levels of anxiety and depression, girls who witnessed high levels of community violence experienced significantly higher levels of depressive and anxiety symptoms than boys who witnessed high levels of community violence. This moderating relationship was not found for victimization. In contrast to most previous research, this study did not find significant gender differences in the rates of exposure to community violence. The authors acknowledge that the relatively small sample size of the current study compared to previous studies may have limited this study's power to detect such differences. 8 tables, 2 figures, and 42 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile delinquency factors
Index Term(s): Black/African Americans; Gender issues; Post-trauma stress disorder; Psychological victimization effects; Victims of violence; Violence
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