Social support and social constraints moderate the relation between community violence exposure and depressive symptoms in an urban adolescent sample

Övgü Kaynak, Stephen J. Lepore, Wendy L. Kliewer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations

Abstract

This longitudinal study examined whether the perceived availability of adult social support and low levels of adult social constraints in talking about violence could potentially mitigate the positive relation between community violence exposure and depressive symptoms among 216 inner-city youth (45% male, 92% African American). The majority of youth (90%) reported witnessing violence or being victimized at least once in the prior year. Perceived social support, social constraints, and depressive symptoms were assessed at two waves via self-report, eight months apart. Longitudinal regression analyses controlling for baseline depressive symptoms revealed interactive effects of community violence exposure and both social variables on depressive symptoms. Violence exposure at Time 1 was positively related to Time 2 depressive symptoms among youth with high levels of social constraints or low levels of social support, but not among youth with low levels of social constraints or high levels of social support. The moderating effects of social constraints and social support were independent of one another. The implications of this research for social interventions are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)250-269
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Social and Clinical Psychology
Volume30
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology

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