ERIC Number: ED421589
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Feb
Reference Count: N/A
Exposure to Community Violence: Incidence and Correlates among Inner-City and Suburban Adolescents.
Ripple, Carol H.; Doyle, Kimberly; Luthar, Suniya S.
Psychosocial correlates of exposure to violence are explored to gain insight into how adolescents are affected in areas of school-based adjustment, and also whether specific groups of youth are affected more than others. Data were gathered as part of a study on academic adjustment across two groups of adolescents: one from a Northeastern inner-city school and one from a high school in an affluent suburb. Participants were 493 high school sophomores, 226 of whom were in the urban school. Self-report questionnaires, teacher ratings of classroom behavior, and grades were collected for all participants. A checklist was used to measure exposure to community violence and to derive witnessing and victimization subscales. An index of drug involvement was then developed. The two groups reported remarkably similar levels of self-reported delinquency and involvement in drug dealing. Suburban adolescents reported significantly more illicit substance abuse than the urban students. Inner-city teens had witnessed more community violence, but suburban teens were just as likely to report victimization as were their urban counterparts. The only difference was on having been shot or having been shot at. Suburban teens who reported high victimization were more likely to be using illicit drugs than their inner-city counterparts. It may be that the suburban teens are putting themselves in risky situations at school, but it is more likely that they are traveling to other communities where they are likely to be victimized in conjunction with their high-risk activities. The conclusion of the study suggests that urban teens are exposed to violence at least in part because of their environment, while suburban teens are exposed more as a function of their behavior. (Contains four tables, three figures, and seven references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A