Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 679–692 | Cite as

Polyvictimization, Related Symptoms, and Familial and Neighborhood Contexts as Longitudinal Mediators of Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Violence Exposure Across Adolescence

  • Arthur R. AndrewsIIIEmail author
  • Cristina M. López
  • Alan Snyder
  • Benjamin Saunders
  • Dean G. Kilpatrick
Original Paper


African American and Hispanic adolescent experience more violence exposure relative to White youth. The present study examined the mediating role of posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS), delinquency, earlier victimization, and familial and neighborhood factors in disparities in future victimization. The study utilized data from the National Survey of Adolescents-Replication (N = 3,312), which consists of three waves of data collected approximately 1 year apart. A series of path models, tested polyvictimization, PTSS, delinquency, familial socioeconomic factors, and neighborhood safety as mediators of disparities in new polyvictimization. All cross-lagged and autoregressive paths positively predicted past-year polyvictimization and mediated longitudinal disparities. Familial socioeconomic variables and neighborhood safety mediated initial violence exposure disparities. Overall, results indicate that prior violence exposure, related mental health symptoms, and familial and neighborhood factors account for significant portions of disparities in new violence exposure across adolescence.


Racial/ethnic disparities Violence victimization Mental health Prospective/longitudinal 



This research was supported by National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Grant 1R01 HD046830-01. Preparation of the manuscript was supported in part by Grant R01DA025616-04S1 from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health (NIH) and 1U54GM115458-01 from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, NIH. Views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of the funding agencies acknowledged. Data will be made available upon request to the corresponding author and original study principal investigators (Kilpatrick & Saunders).


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychology and Institute for Ethnic StudiesUniversity of Nebraska – LincolnLincolnUSA
  2. 2.College of NursingMedical University of South CarolinaCharlestonUSA
  3. 3.Medical University of South CarolinaCharlestonUSA
  4. 4.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral ScienceMedical University of South CarolinaCharlestonUSA

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