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The Relationship Between Exposure to Community Violence and Psychological Distress Among Adolescents: A Meta-Analysis

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This article is concerned with the "size of the relationship" between exposure to chronic community violence and psychological symptoms among adolescents. It analyzes all relevant empirical studies in the published literature during the last 20 years; uses quantitative methods to summarize findings; and estimates the effect size using meta-analysis. The 37 independent samples (n = 17,322) were coded on 19 categories, including size and characteristics of sample, and characteristics of the independent and dependent variables. Findings indicate that there is a positive correlation between exposure to community violence and psychological distress; and that the effect size (r = .25) of this relationship is low-medium. The estimated effect size of the relationship points to new issues such as the characteristics of the psychosocial dynamics of resilience in the face of exposure to community violence and how exposure to community violence interacts with other potentially traumatic experiences in the producing of psychological distress.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2003

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