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J Appl Dev Psychol. 2017 Mar-Apr;49:31-38. doi: 10.1016/j.appdev.2017.01.005. Epub 2017 Jan 27.

Exposure to Violence during Adolescence as a Predictor of Perceived Stress Trajectories in Emerging Adulthood.

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University of Michigan.


Early exposure to violence during adolescence is related to negative psycho-social outcomes later in life. In the present study, we examined the influence of cumulative exposure to violence during adolescence and trajectories of perceived stress in emerging adulthood in a sample of at-risk urban youth (N = 850; 80.1% African American; 50% female). Growth curve modeling indicated an overall decrease in reported stress as individuals aged. Baseline levels of violence exposure (Mage = 14.9) were associated with higher perceived stress levels in emerging adulthood (Mage = 20.1), but also slightly more negative perceived stress slopes from adolescence into emerging adulthood (Mage = 15.9-22.1). Individuals reporting increased violence exposure over time during adolescence also reported higher perceived stress levels in emerging adulthood (Mage = 20.1). Associations held after controlling for demographics and baseline functioning variables. The results suggest that violence exposure may disrupt normative adaptation to daily stressors in emerging adulthood.


exposure to violence; perceived stress; transition to adulthood

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