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ERIC Number: EJ1051736
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Jul
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0012-1649
Collective Efficacy and the Contingent Consequences of Exposure to Life-Threatening Violence
Browning, Christopher R.; Gardner, Margo; Maimon, David; Brooks-Gunn, Jeanne
Developmental Psychology, v50 n7 p1878-1890 Jul 2014
Neighborhood research has increasingly emphasized the potential for contextual characteristics to moderate the effects of youths' experiences on their outcomes. Drawing on collective efficacy theory, we examine the variable consequences of youths' exposures to life-threatening violence across neighborhoods. We argue that strong community normative orientations supporting the control of violence diminish the negative effect of exposure to severe violence on subsequent mental health among urban youth. We also consider the extent to which the consequences of exposure to violence vary by gender. Employing data from the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods, we estimate a series of multivariate, multilevel linear models of internalizing and externalizing symptoms. Results indicate that, for girls, exposure to life-threatening violence (witnessing someone being attacked with a weapon or shot) increases both internalizing and externalizing symptoms. However, this effect achieves statistical significance only for girls who reside in neighborhoods with lower collective efficacy. For boys, our analyses offered weaker evidence of violence exposure effects on mental health. Implications for research on the social context of mental health are discussed.
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) (NIH); National Institute of Mental Health (DHHS/NIH); National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Illinois
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Child Behavior Checklist
Grant or Contract Numbers: 5R01HD049796; 5R01HD057945