Affiliations: University of Minnesota, Institute of Child Development | University of Alabama at Birmingham, Department of Psychology
Address for correspondence Bria Gresham, University of Minnesota, Institute of Child Development, 51 East River Road, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA. E-mail: [email protected].
Abstract: Community violence exposure is associated with externalizing problems in adolescents, yet little research has examined the moderating role of coping in these relationships. Eighty-four low-income, urban adolescents (Mage = 13.36, 50%male, 95%African American) participated in two waves of a longitudinal study a year and a half apart. Youth reported their community violence exposure and coping styles at Wave 1, and their delinquent behavior, physical aggression, and substance use at Waves 1 and 2. Conduct problems were assessed by parent-report at Waves 1 and 2. Results showed that avoidant coping predicted less delinquency, aggression, substance use, and conduct problems over time. Further, avoidant coping attenuated the effect of community violence on delinquency. Problem-focused and emotion-focused coping did not moderate community violence exposure effects. Findings suggest that among low-income, minority urban youth, avoidant coping may protect against the development of externalizing problems in the context of community violence exposure.
Keywords: Community violence, violence exposure, externalizing problems, coping, adolescents