Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Exposure to community violence has disabling effects on the mental health of youth in the US, with high rates of exposure for African American adolescents from underserved, urban communities. Past literature suggests that avoidant coping, specifically behavioral avoidance, may be most useful for youth exposed to uncontrollable stress. The current study assessed the utility of coping strategies in reducing aggression and delinquency in 267 sixth through eighth grade African American youth. First, confirmatory factor analyses revealed a three-factor structure of coping: cognitive approach, behavioral approach, and avoidance. Next, moderated moderation findings showed that for boys, avoidance and approach strategies increased risk for delinquency and aggression. For girls, high use of avoidance was protective, but low use of avoidance and approach was harmful. These results suggest that in general, more coping is helpful for girls but unhelpful for boys. This research enhances understanding of how youth adaptively cope with community violence.
Diclemente, Cara Marie, "Coping with Exposure to Community Violence: Assessing the Role of Avoidance in Reducing Delinquency and Aggression in Low-Income Urban Adolescents" (2017). Master's Theses. 3669.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.
Copyright © 2017 Cara Marie Diclemente