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: 226466 Find in a Library
Title: Secondary Exposure to Violence During Childhood and Adolescence: Does Neighborhood Context Matter?
Journal: Justice Quarterly  Volume:26  Issue:1  Dated:March 2009  Pages:30-57
Author(s): Chris L. Gibson; Sara Z. Morris; Kevin M. Beaver
Date Published: March 2009
Page Count: 28
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Using data from the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods (PHDCN), this study assessed neighborhood and individual-level predictors of “secondary exposure” to violence, i.e., witnessing and/or hearing violent acts in contrast to being a direct victim of violence.
Abstract: The study found that children’s experience of secondary exposure to violence varied across geographical areas of Chicago and that it could not be fully explained by individual-level risk factors. It also found that several neighborhood variables had significant effects on secondary exposure to violence above and beyond individual risk factors. Specifically, youth who lived in poverty-stricken areas and those living in areas with higher concentrations of Latinos and foreign-born residents were more likely to witness and hear violence in their neighborhoods. In addition, the study found that informal social controls and protections for children in neighborhoods did not reduce exposure to secondary violence; for example, children who lived in neighborhoods where parents shared information, monitored children, etc., were no less likely to be exposed to secondary violence than children living in other types of neighborhoods. Apparently, some children and youth live in dangerous neighborhoods where violence may be beyond the control of community members or parents, so they still witness and hear violent acts. Finally, the study found that a lack of self-control in children and youth increased their risk of witnessing and hearing violence. This is consistent with research that has shown youth with low self-control are more at risk for peer associations and behaviors that increase their exposure to violence. The PHDCN is an interdisciplinary study designed to obtain data and knowledge on the contextual determinates of children’s psychological, social, and behavioral development. Contextual measures were validated over time for several cohorts of children at various developmental stages. 3 tables, 61 references, and 1 appendix
Main Term(s): Juvenile delinquency research
Index Term(s): Adolescents at risk; Children at risk; Environmental influences; Exposure to Violence; Illinois; Juvenile delinquency factors; Neighborhood; Youth development
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.