Indirect violence exposure and mental health symptoms among an urban public-school population: Prevalence and correlates

Autoři: Erica L. Gollub aff001;  Jakevia Green aff002;  Lisa Richardson aff002;  Ilyssa Kaplan aff003;  Denese Shervington aff002
Působiště autorů: Health Science Program, College of Health Professions, Pace University, Pleasantville, NY, United States of America aff001;  Institute of Women & Ethnic Studies, New Orleans, LA, United States of America aff002;  Department of Psychology, Pace University, New York, NY, United States of America aff003;  Charles R. Drew School of Medicine and Science, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Los Angeles, CA, United States of America aff004
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(11)
Kategorie: Research Article
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0224499


Available literature identifies the need for a deeper understanding of the role of gender, age and socioeconomic status in children’s exposure to violence and associations with mental health (MH) outcomes. The 1548 participants for this study were enrolled from 28 public charter schools and 9 community-based settings; youth were administered a screener that assessed exposure to traumatic events and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression. Respondents reported extremely high levels of exposure to indirect violence: 41.7% witnessed shooting/stabbing/beating; 18.3% witnessed murder; and 53.8% experienced the murder of someone close. Frequency of adverse MH outcomes was high: 21.2% screened positive for depression; 45.7% for lifetime PTSD; and 26.9% for current PTSD. More males than females reported witnessing shooting/stabbing/beating (p = .04); females more often reported experiencing the murder of someone close (p = .001). Indirect violence exposure generally increased with age. Youth attending schools with ≥90% free/reduced lunch participation (FRLP) showed significantly higher levels of violence exposure compared to youth in schools with <90% FRLP. Females endorsed significantly higher levels of depression (21.4% vs. 9.7%), and lifetime (53.9% vs. 34.9%) and current (32.5% vs. 19.6%) PTSD, compared with males (p < .0001, all comparisons). Female sex (aOR = 2.6), FRLP (aOR = 1.4 for ≥90% vs. <90%) and the number of different indirect violence exposures (aORs from 1.3 to 10.4), were significantly associated with a positive screen for any adverse MH outcome. Our data add important insights into gender heterogeneity of viewed violence, mental health symptoms, and their association—all of which are critical to guiding effective intervention efforts.

Klíčová slova:

Adolescents – African American people – Age groups – Depression – Emotions – Mental health and psychiatry – Post-traumatic stress disorder – Schools


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