What is community violence?
- Community violence is interpersonal violence perpetrated by individuals who are NOT intimately related to the victim .
- Usually occurs without warning and comes as a sudden and terrifying shock .
- Includes sexual assault, burglary, mugging, the sound of gunshots, presence of gangs, drug abuse, racial tension, and other forms of social disorder .
- Children are especially impacted: More than 40% of youths surveyed (N = 2248) report exposure to a shooting or stabbing in the past year, and 74% reported feeling unsafe in one or more common environmental contexts .
- Troubled family life (e.g., broken homes, abuse, neglect, drugs, minimal parental involvement)  
- Urbanization and inner-city living 
- Individual factors (e.g., gender, age, race, ethnicity) 
- Higher levels of externalizing disorders, internalizing disorders, and PTSD among inner city youth in a meta-analysis that assessed outcomes from 114 studies .
- Directly experiencing violence was associated with greater externalizing and internalizing symptoms than witness.
- PTSD was equally linked with victimization, witnessing, and hearing about violence.
- In an urban sample of 615 teens, exposure to violence prospectively predicted an increase in all symptoms assessed (i.e., internalizing, externalizing, posttraumatic stress, and dissociative symptoms) .
- Gender makes a difference in outcome: Boys experienced more violence than girls.
- Compared to boys, girls who experienced violence were more likely to experience dissociation, but not the other symptoms.
- Other effects include:
- Life skills and social development programs to help children and adolescents manage anger, resolve conflict, and develop the necessary social skills to solve problems tend to aid in prevention.
- School-based anti-bullying and safety programs are also great additional resources:
 Cooley-Quille, M. R., Turner, S. M., & Beidel, D. C. (1995). Emotional impact of children’s exposure to community violence: A preliminary study. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 34(10), 1362-1368.
 Schwab-Stone, M. E., Ayers, T. S., Kasprow, W., Voyce, C., Barone, C., Shriver, T., & Weissberg, R. P. (1995). No safe haven: A study of violence exposure in an urban community. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 34(10), 1343-1352.
 Bassuk, E. L., Weinreb, L. F., Buckner, J. C., Browne, A., Salomon, A., & Bassuk, S. S. (1996). The characteristics and needs of sheltered homeless and low-income housed mothers. Jama, 276(8), 640-646.
 American Psychological Association. (2009). Effective strategies to support positive parenting in community health centers: Report of the working group on child maltreatment prevention in community health centers.
 Fowler, P. J., Tompsett, C. J., Braciszewski, J. M., Jacques-Tiura, A. J., & Baltes, B. B. (2009). Community violence: A meta-analysis on the effect of exposure and mental health outcomes of children and adolescents. Development and Psychopathology, 21(01), 227-259.