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J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 1995 Oct;34(10):1343-52.

No safe haven: a study of violence exposure in an urban community.

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  • 1Harris Program on Child Psychiatry, Child Development, and Social Policy, Yale Child Study Center, New Haven, CT 06520-7900, USA.



To examine levels of violence exposure and reports of feeling unsafe in relation to psychological and behavioral characteristics for a general population sample of youths from an urban setting.


A comprehensive survey of high-risk behaviors, attitudes, indicators of adaptive behavior, and daily involvements was administered to a sample of 2,248 students in the 6th, 8th, and 10th grades in an urban public school system.


More than 40% of the youths surveyed reported exposure to a shooting or stabbing in the past year, and 74% reported feeling unsafe in one or more common environmental contexts. Multiple regression analyses indicated significant relationships between violence exposure/feeling unsafe and a set of indicators of psychological and behavioral adaptation and expressed attitudes.


These results attest to the picture of violence as a common fact of inner-city life and to the demand that is placed on urban youths to accommodate in their psychological development to chronic threat and lack of safety.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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