Violence exposure and depressive symptoms among urban youth: A growth curve analysis
Monday, November 4, 2013
: 9:00 a.m. - 9:15 a.m.
Background: Exposure to violence among youth in the United States is a public health problem associated with negative mental and behavioral outcomes. Exposure to violence may take many forms, including victimization, violence observation and family conflict. Urban youth are disproportionately exposed to violence and thus may be at greatest risk for experiencing negative mental health outcomes such as depression. Researchers have reported that females may be at greater risk of experiencing poor mental health outcomes as a result of violence exposure compared to males, but results are mixed. Methods: We examined the association between violence exposure (i.e., victimization, violence observation and family conflict) and the trajectory of depression over the four years of high school among urban, African American youth (N=595, 51% female, mean age year 1: 14.9). We used growth curve modeling to investigate changes in depression across adolescence and examine its association with violence exposure. Results: Victimization and family conflict were associated with increased depressive symptoms during high school. Violence observation was not associated with depressive symptoms during high school. Females experienced higher levels of initial depressive symptoms compared to males, but males' depressive symptoms increased over time compared to females. Conclusions: Results suggested that violence exposure was associated with depressive symptoms throughout high school. Family conflict and victimization were associated with worse mental health over time. Results also suggested that depression may be problematic for both male and female youth, but the pattern of symptoms may differ during adolescence. Implications for prevention will be discussed.
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences
Describe depression trajectories during adolescence in a of sample at-risk youth.
Investigate how violence exposure may be a risk factor for depression during the high school years.
Analyze the influence of both time-varying covariates and time-invariant characteristics on depression over time among youth using growth curve modeling.
Keyword(s): Adolescent Health, Violence
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have worked with these data previously examining factors influencing the health and development of adolescents. I am interested in factors associated with violent behavior and consequences of violence exposure among youth, particularly high-risk youth, as this is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in this population.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines,
and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed
in my presentation.