American Journal of Community Psychology

, Volume 32, Issue 1–2, pp 115–129 | Cite as

Exploring Violence Exposure, Stress, Protective Factors and Behavioral Problems Among Inner-City Youth

  • Eric Youngstrom
  • Mark D. Weist
  • Kathleen E. Albus


This study examined relationships between violence exposure, other stressors, family support, and self-concept on self-reported behavioral problems among 320 urban adolescents (aged 11–18) referred for mental health treatment. Overall, participants reported high levels of violence exposure, with a median of six past encounters with violence as a witness, victim, or through the experiences of associates. All forms of violence exposure (witnessing, being a victim, knowing of victims) were correlated with internalizing and externalizing behavioral problems for males and females. Total violence exposure predicted behavioral problems among participants, even after controlling for the effects of other risk, demographic and protective factors. Family support and self-concept moderated the influence of life stress and cumulative risk on problem behavior outcomes, but these protective variables did not significantly moderate violence exposure.

violence exposure protective factors externalizing problems internalizing problems adolescents 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eric Youngstrom
    • 1
  • Mark D. Weist
    • 2
  • Kathleen E. Albus
    • 3
  1. 1.Case Western Reserve UniversityCleveland
  2. 2.University of Maryland Medical SchoolBaltimore
  3. 3.University of DelawareNewark

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