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01-04-2010 | Empirical Research | Uitgave 4/2010

Journal of Youth and Adolescence 4/2010

Exposure to Community Violence and Adolescents’ Internalizing Behaviors Among African American and Asian American Adolescents

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Youth and Adolescence > Uitgave 4/2010
Auteur:
Wan-Yi Chen

Abstract

Exposure to community violence can seriously threaten healthy adolescent development. This longitudinal study examines the relationship between exposure to violence in the community and the internalizing behaviors of Asian American and African American adolescents. Data analyzed was from 901 adolescents (57.9% female and 42.1% male, and 84.7% African American and 15.3% Asian American) who had participated in both Wave I and II interviews of the National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Health conducted between 1994 and 1996. Being female, having prior internalizing behaviors at baseline, and being exposed to violence significantly predicted African American adolescents’ subsequent report of internalizing behaviors and their symptoms. Being female and having prior internalizing behaviors also predicted Asian American adolescents’ subsequent internalizing behaviors and their symptoms. However, exposure to violence was not associated with Asian American adolescents’ internalizing behaviors. Findings suggested a need to conceptualize mental health risk in a more nuanced context of cultural diversity.

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