Patterns of Community Violence Exposure among African American Adolescents Living in Low-Resourced Urban Neighborhoods

Christopher R. Whipple, Willie La Vome Robinson, Leonard A. Jason, Övgü Kaynak, Chelsea W. Harris, Simone P. Grisamore, Melinda N. Troyka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


African American adolescents living in neighborhoods with concentrated economic disadvantage are disproportionately exposed to community violence. This study builds upon previous research and examines patterns, severity, and chronicity of violence exposure, within a sample of African American adolescents living in low-resourced, urban neighborhoods (n = 327). The influence of both individual- and contextual-level factors on community violence exposure (CVE) is examined. Data were collected across four time points at 6-month intervals. Latent transition analysis identified three patterns of CVE at each time point: low witnessing and low victimization (LW-LV), high witnessing and low victimization (HW-LV), and high witnessing and high victimization (HW-HV), as well as transitions between each class. Although a stable LW-LV class membership over time was the most prevalent pattern, most adolescents experienced some change in exposure. Nearly one-third of the participants were classified in the HW-HV group at some point in time. Analyses on individual- and contextual-level factors revealed that more depressive symptoms, community problems (e.g., drugs, graffiti, noise), or community resources (e.g., schools, parks, recreational facilities) were associated with an increased likelihood of experiencing high levels of violent victimization. Implications for intervention and prevention of CVE are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)414-426
Number of pages13
JournalAmerican Journal of Community Psychology
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Dec 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Applied Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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