Posttraumatic Stress, Family Functioning, and Adjustment in Urban African American Youth Exposed to Violence: A Moderated Mediation Model
This article presents an integrated conceptual framework that contextualizes exposure to community violence and the interpersonal and interdependent processes of parent and child response to community violence. This model posits that parental distress, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression, is a significant mediator of child distress symptomatology and behavior problems. The model advances understanding of the impact of community violence in the lives of parents and children through various mechanisms, including social capital. This article underscores the need for a fundamental shift in the study of community violence, in the delivery of mental health services, and in prevention efforts from focusing on the individual child to concentrating on the parent, family, and community-level factors and processes. This article highlights important areas to address in future research, including investigation and specification of the mechanisms and processes by which neighborhoods affect and influence human development outcomes.