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Issues Ment Health Nurs. 2012 Feb;33(2):80-8. doi: 10.3109/01612840.2011.623217.

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

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  • 1Rutgers University, College of Nursing, Newark, New Jersey 07102, USA. sarah.kelly@rutgers.edu

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.

PMID:
22273341
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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