Assessing urban african american youths' exposure to community violence through a daily sampling method

Maryse H. Richards*, Edna Romero, Arie Zakaryan, Devin Carey, Kyle Deane, Dakari Quimby, Nisha Patel, Maureen Burns

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Objective: The traditional use of retrospective self-report to measure exposure to community violence over long periods of time has limitations overcome by an approach described here. This article explores an innovative approach in assessing community violence exposure with time-sampling methodology, where reporting occurs within daily accounts to provide a more immediate measure of community violence exposure. Method: Data were collected over 1 week from 169 urban African American young adolescents (M age = 11.7 years, SD = .70, 62% female) using questionnaires and the Daily Sampling Method, a diary technique that captures a child's daily accounts of community violence exposure (DCVE). Results: Analyses revealed youth experienced 841 total violent incidents, or close to 1 daily incident per youth for the week. As expected, the majority of incidents occurred between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m., and in public settings. Unexpectedly, higher rates of both victimization and witnessing occurred during weekdays compared with weekend days, and girls reported significantly more DCVE than boys. The DCVE provide a unique glimpse into the more immediate experience of life in high-risk neighborhoods. Conclusion: This study underscores the need to measure DCVE in ways that address the daily experience of youth living in high-risk environments. By identifying timing and location of exposure, we can develop interventions to keep youth safer from violence exposure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)275-284
Number of pages10
JournalPsychology of Violence
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015


  • African American
  • community violence
  • daily sampling method
  • urban
  • youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Applied Psychology


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