The effects of exposure to gang violence on adolescent boys' mental health

Sarah Kelly, Debra Anderson, Lynne Hall, Ann Peden, Julie Cerel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Gang violence is a growing public health concern in the United States, and adolescents are influenced by exposure to gang violence. This study explored the influence of exposure to gang violence on adolescent boys' mental health using a multi-method design. A semi-structured interview guide and the Trauma Symptom Checklist for Children were used to collect data from adolescents. Parents, primary caregivers, and community center employees completed the Child Behavior Checklist or Teacher Report Form. Ten adolescent boys, their parents or primary caregivers, and six community center employees participated in the study. Exposure to gang violence was common among these adolescents and they had a variety of reactions. Parents, primary caregivers, and community center employees had differing perceptions of adolescents' exposure to violence and their mental health. Adolescent boys' exposure to gang violence in the community is alarming. These adolescents encountered situations with violence that influenced their mental health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)80-88
Number of pages9
JournalIssues in Mental Health Nursing
Volume33
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2012

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