Effect of Environmental Risk and Externalizing Comorbidity on Internalizing Problems Among Economically Disadvantaged African American Youth

Jingwen Liu, John M. Bolland, Danielle Dick, Brian Mustanski, Darlene A. Kertes*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examined the effects of racial discrimination, community violence, and stressful life events on internalizing problems among African American youth from high-poverty neighborhoods (N = 607; 293 boys; Mage = 16.0 years, SD = 1.44 years). Mediated effects via externalizing problems on these relations were also examined, given the high comorbidity rate between internalizing and externalizing problems. Externalizing problems partially mediated the effect of stressful life events on internalizing problems and fully mediated the effect of racial discrimination for boys but not for girls. Exposure to violence had a significant indirect effect on internalizing problems via externalizing problems. The findings call for greater attention to internalizing problems among African American youth and pathways to internalizing problems via externalizing problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)552-566
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Research on Adolescence
Volume26
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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