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J Prev Interv Community. 2014;42(3):208-20. doi: 10.1080/10852352.2014.916583.

The influence of nondisclosure on the mental health of urban African-American adolescents exposed to community violence.

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1
a Department of Psychiatry , University of Illinois at Chicago , Chicago , Illinois , USA.

Abstract

African-American youth residing in urban poverty have been shown to be at increased risk for exposure to violence and internalizing symptoms, but there has been little investigation of moderating processes that might attenuate or exacerbate this association. The current study examined nondisclosure as a possible moderator of the association between community violence and internalizing symptoms with a sample of 152 low-income urban African-American early adolescents using hierarchical regression analyses. Results revealed that nondisclosure for relationship reasons (e.g., adults could not be trusted to provide needed support) moderated the association between exposure to community violence and internalizing symptoms. Unexpectedly, however, results of simple effects analyses revealed a stronger association between exposure to violence and internalizing symptoms for youth who disclosed more to adults. Although unexpected, this pattern builds upon prior research indicating that adult-child relationships are compromised within the context of urban poverty and that protective factors may lose their power under conditions of extreme stress.

KEYWORDS:

African American; internalizing symptoms; nondisclosure; urban poverty; youth

PMID:
25050605
DOI:
10.1080/10852352.2014.916583
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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