skip navigation


Abstract Database

Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

To download this abstract, check the box next to the NCJ number then click the "Back To Search Results" link. Then, click the "Download" button on the Search Results page. Also see the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 209500 Find in a Library
Title: Community Violence Exposure in University Students: A Replication and Extension
Journal: Journal of Interpersonal Violence  Volume:17  Issue:3  Dated:March 2002  Pages:253-272
Author(s): Angela Scarpa; Deniz Fikretoglu; Felicia Bowser; Jimmy D. Hurley; Caroline A. Pappert; Nancy Romero; Elizabeth Van Voorhees
Date Published: March 2002
Page Count: 20
Sponsoring Agency: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Blacksburg, VA 24061
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: In replicating and extending Scarpa's findings on exposure to community violence in young, low-risk adults attending college, this study aimed to validate the Survey of Exposure to Community Violence (SECV), to develop detailed information on lifetime community-violence victimization and witnessing it among university students, and to assess the psychological impact of exposure to violence.
Abstract: Participants were 518 psychology students. Lifetime exposure to community violence was measured with the SECV, which is a questionnaire that solicits respondents reports on the frequency of having directly experienced or witnessed the following violence-related events: chased by gangs or individuals, robbed, threatened with serious physical harm, punched or hit by a family member, punched or hit by a nonfamily member, mugged, sexually assaulted, exposed to a weapon, seriously wounded by violence, stabbed, shot, and exposed to a dead body. Lifetime exposure to trauma was determined with the Vrana and Lauterbach Events Scale (VLES), which measures exposure to a variety of traumatic events, including interpersonal violence. Psychological adjustment was determined by summing items on each of five instruments that measured depression, trait anxiety, aggressive behavior, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and interpersonal problems associated with personality disorder. Based on responses, participants were divided into high, moderate, or low witnessing and victimization groups for community violence. The findings confirmed SECV validity, with violent trauma more often reported in moderate/high victimization groups. Respondents who reported witnessing violence composed 93.2 percent of the sample, and 76.4 percent reported being victimized by violence. The most frequent violent events reported involved being hit, threatened, or seeing a gun/knife used as a weapon. The most frequent perpetrators were nonfamily members, except for domestic violence. High-exposure groups reported greater depression, aggression, interpersonal problems, and PTSD symptoms. 7 tables, 4 notes, and 25 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile victims
Index Term(s): Mental disorders; Mental health; Post-trauma stress disorder (PTSD); Psychological victimization effects; Victims of violent crime
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.