The psychological effects of exposure to different types of violence among urban adolescents and young adults are not yet well understood. This study investigated exposure to neighborhood violence, relationship violence, and forced sex among 677 urban African Americans aged 16-23 enrolled at an employment and training center. We assessed prevalence of each violence exposure type, the relation of each exposure type to depressive symptoms, and the extent to which exposure to multiple violence types is additively associated with depressive symptoms. Potential gender differences were also explored. Nearly 60% of our sample reported violence exposure, with males reporting more neighborhood violence and females reporting more forced sex. For both genders, each violence exposure domain was independently associated with depressive symptoms, and exposures in multiple domains had an additive effect on depressive symptom levels. These findings have implications for developing strategies to improve mental health outcomes among urban adolescents and young adults.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology