The Physical and Mental Health Effects of Community Violence Exposure in Pre-Adolescent and Adolescent Youth
The purpose of this inquiry is to determine the impact of community violence exposure (CVE) on the physical and mental health of children and adolescents. Twelve research studies exploring this topic were found by conducting a search in Pubmed and the Cumulative Index of Nursing and the Allied Health Literature (CINAHL). The articles used in this inquiry were limited to those published in the United States after 2003. All studies directly assessed CVE and explored its association with psychological or physical symptoms. An increased risk of PTSD and internalizing symptoms were associated with CVE. Children with CVE were at a higher risk for somatic complaints. In addition, CVE was associated with higher morbidity in children with asthma. The literature was entirely self-report with both cross-sectional and longitudinal studies. These results indicate the need for further research to better understand CVE and health associations.