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Exposure to violence and victimization and depression, hopelessness, and purpose in life among adolescents living in and around public housing

, : Exposure to violence and victimization and depression, hopelessness, and purpose in life among adolescents living in and around public housing. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics 16(4): 233-237

This study examines the relationships between exposure to violence and depression, hopelessness, and purpose in life among black adolescents living in or around public housing developments. Black adolescents (N = 225, males = 44%) ages 11 to 19 years in a southern city were administered an anonymous questionnaire. Depression was correlated with the exposure to violence (r = .28), family conflict (r = .29), and corporal punishment (r = .32) scales, perceived probability of being alive at age 25 years (r = -.14), socioeconomic status of head of household (r = .14), anticipated socioeconomic status as an adult (r = .21), and number of sexual partners (r = .22). Based on multiple regression analysis, corporal punishment, family conflict, educational level of head of household, and perceived probability of being alive at age 25 years explained 18% (p < or = .0001) of the variation in depression. Family conflict, corporal punishment, and unemployed head of household explained 11% of the variation in the hopelessness scale. Unemployed head of household, the corporal punishment scale, and number of sexual partners explained 9.7% of the variation in purpose in life. Even when accounting for other social factors, exposure to violence in the home was associated with psychological distress in this sample of adolescents.


PMID: 7593657

DOI: 10.1097/00004703-199508000-00004

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