Introduction

Exposure to community violence was first identified in the early 1990s as a problem of epidemic proportion in the United States affecting the lives of a substantial number of children and youth (USDHHS/PHS, 1992). Although serious violent crime against youth has decreased in major U.S. cities during the past decade (Brener, Simon, Krug, & Lowry, 1999), a substantial number of families with limited resources continue to live in inner city neighborhoods characterized by high levels of violence, crime, and drug activity (Hill & Jones, 1997). In particular, children from ethnic minority backgrounds, such as African American and Latino, are disproportionately represented in neighborhoods with high levels of poverty, substance use, and local crime. They are at a considerably higher risk of developmental harm related to their socially toxic environment than children from nonethnic minority backgrounds, particularly those of higher socio-economic status (SES; Randolph, Koblinsky, & Roberts, 1996). Due to this tremendous public health burden, it is crucial to understand the impact of community violence, early in development, on ethnic minority children of low SES background. Such knowledge is necessary to inform effective and ecologically sound prevention and treatment interventions for this vulnerable population.

In this chapter we describe results from our Boston Community Violence Project (BCVP) which targeted African American and Latino mothers and their preschool children residing in high-crime neighborhoods and examine the contribution of exposure to community violence, a relatively less known psychosocial risk factor, on the problematic internalizing and externalizing behavior of 3-5-year-old children. We report results of the Parenting Study, which uses the sample in the BCVP, to test a multidimensional psychosocial model of the impact of community violence with special attention to the role of parenting behavior as observed during a mother-child interaction compliance task. To end, we discuss findings of the effects of community violence on preschool development from a prevention-intervention perspective.

Joy Of Modern Parenting Collection

Joy Of Modern Parenting Collection

This is a collection of parenting guides. Within this collection you will find the following titles: Issues, rule and discipline, self esteem and tips plus more.

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment