NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ833742
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Apr
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9630
Prevalence and Mental Health Correlates of Witnessed Parental and Community Violence in a National Sample of Adolescents
Zinzow, Heidi M.; Ruggiero, Kenneth J.; Resnick, Heidi; Hanson, Rochelle; Smith, Daniel; Saunders, Benjamin; Kilpatrick, Dean
Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, v50 n4 p441-450 Apr 2009
Background: Although research suggests that witnessed violence is linked to adverse mental health outcomes among adolescents, little is known about its prevalence or its significance in predicting psychiatric symptoms beyond the contribution of co-occurring risk factors. The purpose of this study was to identify the national prevalence of witnessed parental and community violence and to examine these life stressors as independent risk factors for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and major depressive episode (MDE) among adolescents. A secondary aim was to determine which characteristics of witnessed violence were associated with mental health outcomes. Method: Participants were 3,614 adolescents recruited from a 2005 US national household probability sample who completed structured telephone interviews assessing witnessed violence and "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV (DSM-IV)" criteria for PTSD and MDE. Results: National prevalence of witnessed parental violence and witnessed community violence was estimated to be 9% and 38%, respectively. Both forms of witnessed violence predicted PTSD and MDE beyond variance accounted for by age, gender, race/ethnicity, income, and other traumatic event history. Perceptions of threat, repeated violence exposure, location of the violence, and relationship to the victim were associated with psychiatric diagnoses. Conclusions: Findings suggest that witnessed violence represents a significant public health burden with implications for psychological assessment and prevention efforts.
Blackwell Publishing. 350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148. Tel: 800-835-6770; Tel: 781-388-8599; Fax: 781-388-8232; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A