Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Exposure to community violence is a pressing public health concern that has profound effects on an adolescent’s development and psychological well-being, and is disproportionately experienced by ethnic minority youth living in economically disadvantaged urban environments. Efforts to measure violence exposure and its sequelae have centered primarily on the use of retrospective questionnaires and cross-sectional design and often fail to consider other contributory risk or resilience factors. Comprised of three related studies, the goal of this dissertation is to address the relations between of exposure to community violence, adjustment difficulties, such as posttraumatic stress, and family functioning among African American and Latinx adolescents living in high violence, low-income communities. Moreover, each project in this collection employs varying methods and measurements of violence exposure, its consequences, and familial protective factors. By examining these variables among a high-risk population in three integral contexts of an adolescent’s environment—individual characteristics, family, and neighborhood—this dissertation takes a comprehensive approach informing intervention efforts and policy initiatives in this area.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
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