Exposure to Violence and Socioemotional Adjustment in Low-Income Youth: An Examination of Protective Factors
Using a sample of 391 low-income youth ages 13–17, this study investigated the potential moderating effects of school climate, participation in extracurricular activities, and positive parent–child relations on associations between exposure to violence (i.e., witnessing violence and violent victimization) and adolescent socioemotional adjustment (i.e., internalizing and externalizing problems). Exposure to violence was related to both internalizing and externalizing problems. High levels of participation in extracurricular activities and positive parent–child relations appeared to function as protective factors, weakening the positive association between exposure to violence and externalizing problems. Contrary to prediction, school climate did not moderate associations between exposure to violence and socioemotional adjustment. Further, none of the hypothesized protective factors moderated the association between exposure to violence and internalizing problems.