Measurement of the Role of Cognitive Appraisals in Youth Exposure to Community Violence and Psychological Adjustment

Lauren Drerup Stokes, Yo Jackson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Community violence (CV) is a significant risk factor for urban youth and is predictive of mental health difficulties. Not all youth are affected and extant research indicates that youth’s appraisals of stress are a key mechanism in the stress-adjustment process. The current study presented data for a new measure of appraisals of CV and their relation to adjustment. Youth participants’ mean age was 12.23 (SD = 0.81) years and caregivers mean age was 38.37 (SD = 7.05). Structural equation modeling revealed that a four-factor model of witnessing and victimization and two appraisal types (i.e., threat/relevant and challenge) best fit the data. Victimization predicted youth’s report of maladjustment and adaptive behaviors. Challenge appraisals indirectly affected the relation between witnessing violence and caregiver’s report of adaptive behaviors. Results support previous meta-analytic findings that exposure to community violence includes two sub-types of witnessing and victimization and these constructs have different relations with adjustment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)315-327
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Child and Adolescent Trauma
Volume9
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine

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