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01-02-2015 | Uitgave 2/2015

Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 2/2015

Impacts of Family and Community Violence Exposure on Child Coping and Mental Health

Tijdschrift:
Research on Child and Adolescent Psychopathology > Uitgave 2/2015
Auteurs:
Esror Tamim Mohammad, Ester R. Shapiro, Laurel D. Wainwright, Alice S. Carter

Abstract

An ecological stress process model was employed to explore relations between  children’s exposures to family and community violence and child mental health, and emotionally-regulated coping (ERC) as a protective factor among Latino, European–American, and African–American school-aged children (n = 91; girls, n = 50[54 %]) living in single-parent families who were either homeless and residing in emergency shelters or housed but living in poverty. Mothers reported domestic violence experiences and their child’s history of physical/sexual abuse, community violence exposures, and mental health. Children reported on exposure to community violence, internalizing symptoms, and coping. The mental health impacts of multi-level violence exposures and ERC as a moderator of associations between violence exposures and child mental health was tested with structural equation modeling. Family abuse was uniquely associated with PTSD, and community violence with anxiety and aggression. Latent interaction tests revealed that ERC moderated relations between family abuse and anxiety, aggression and PTSD. Emotionally-regulated coping appears to play a protective role for children’s mental health in contexts of violence exposure, offering opportunities for intervention and prevention.

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