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The psychological impact of violence in underserved communities.

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National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Division of Violence Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30341-3742, USA.


There is striking evidence that violence has a psychological impact on children and young adults in the United States, particularly those in underserved communities. Homicide is the second leading cause of death of all persons between the ages of 15 and 24 years and is the leading cause among African American youth. In 1990, more young African American men died from homicides than from all natural causes combined. Research indicates a number of factors that can predispose children to a lifetime of violence and criminal activity, including poverty, substance abuse, poor parenting skills, placement outside the home, and improper peer interaction. Evidence also indicates that early intervention through school health programs, community support systems, and, most importantly, proper parental supervision and interaction can reduce the incidence of violence and thereby the negative psychological impact violence has on children.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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