Community violence exposure of Southeast Asian American adolescents

Joyce Ho*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Southeast Asian adolescents in the United States face the daily challenge of adjusting to the American culture and their culture of origin. However, little is known about how the patterns of their bicultural adjustment influence psychological symptoms, especially when faced with other challenges such as community violence and negative life events. Additionally, the overrepresentation of Southeast Asian youth in the mental health and juvenile justice systems also necessitates a deeper understanding of the adjustment of this group of adolescents. Data from a sample of 80 Vietnamese and Cambodian adolescents who were between 13 and 18 years old revealed high rates of community violence witnessing and victimization, and a moderate level of negative life events. All of these stressors were related to higher externalizing and trauma-related symptoms, but only violence victimization and negative life events were related to higher internalizing symptoms. There was an additive effect of higher bicultural orientation related to lower externalizing and traumatic-stress symptoms in the face of stress and violence exposure, but no moderation effects were found.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)136-146
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2008


  • Bicultural orientation
  • Cambodian Americans
  • Community violence
  • Negative life events
  • Vietnamese Americans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology


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