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NCJ Number: 201456 Find in a Library
Title: Community Violence Exposure in Young Adults
Journal: Trauma, Violence, & Abuse  Volume:4  Issue:3  Dated:July 2003  Pages:210-227
Author(s): Angela Scarpa
Date Published: July 2003
Page Count: 18
Type: Literature Review
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article reviews the findings of studies that have examined the lifetime prevalence of the exposure of young adults to community violence, both as victims and witnesses; the psychosocial outcomes of such exposure are also addressed.
Abstract: Surveys have found that the United States is one of the most violent Western industrialized countries, with higher rates reported in the 1970's to 1980's. This is reflected in high rates of lifetime exposure to violence among young adults, ranging from 76 percent to 82 percent for victimization and 93 percent to 96 percent for witnessing. Although the studies of lifetime prevalence of exposure to community violence for young adults have used relatively low-risk samples from rural areas, rates of exposure have been similar to those reported by youth in high-crime urban areas. The primary difference is apparently in the severity of violence experienced rather than its frequency; more life-threatening incidents have been reported in high-risk youth samples. Men have reported greater exposure to violence than women, with the exception of sexual assault and domestic violence; however, the impact of exposure to violence on psychological maladjustment is similar regardless of gender. Negative outcomes of exposure to violence include depressed mood, posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms, aggressive and criminal behavior, and interpersonal problems. Aggressive behavior as an outcome of exposure to violence may be related to stress-related rises in cortisol, which have been found to be predictive of aggression. Implications are drawn for practice, policy, and research. 97 references and 7 suggested future readings
Main Term(s): Juvenile victims
Index Term(s): Psychological victimization effects; Victims of violent crime; Violence; Young Adults (18-24)
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