Exposure to community violence (ETV-C) negatively impacts youth development and is associated with many negative outcomes. Although attention has been paid to examining risk and protective factors that promote or reduce ETV-C, many of the studies in this growing body of literature do not place predictive models within a theoretical framework. In this review, we argue that the routine activity theory and lifestyles perspectives (RAT/LS) within an ecological framework is a useful strategy for examining how a series of behaviors and choices enacted by youth in their everyday lives affects their ETV-C. By focusing on the role of target suitability and capable guardianship within the neighborhood, family, peers, and individual levels of the mesosystem, we suggest scholars can examine the relative salience of these various components to determine whether they serve to increase youth's ETV-C or buffer against such experiences. We propose that the RAT/LS perspectives can not only be placed in an ecological framework, but it also provides effective tenets with which to explore ETV-C.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Clinical Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health