Violence Exposure and Teen Mothers: A Multiethnic Study

Project: Research project

Project Details


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Violence exposure among children and adolescents is a well-recognized problem, but is usually conceptualized as either directly experienced or witnessed maltreatment occurring at the interpersonal or community level. In communities of color this definition is inadequate because it does not take account of the multiple other sources of exogenous violence exposure. The proposed study will examine the processes and mediators by which violence exposure may adversely affect young mothers of color and their children, as well as documenting the buffering or moderating effects of specific psychological resources. Based on a theoretical model, violence is defined across a continuum including interpersonal, community, and contextual (racism, acculturative stress, and neighborhood deprivation). Effects of interest include measures of maternal psychological distress, parenting, and child behavior. Psychological resources (ethnic identity and adaptive coping) are evaluated for their role in buffering the effects of violence. A stratified sample of 400 mothers (200 African-American, 200 Latina) will be recruited from clinical and community sites providing general services to young mothers of color. Those recruited will have given birth while teens and will be 18-22 years old with children 3-5 years old at enrollment. Special recruitment procedures will be implemented to assure enrollment across a range of neighborhood characteristics. Participants will be assessed using well-validated and standardized measures appropriate in these populations, following 6 months of informal focus groups to inform instrument modification as needed. One-time assessments will take place both by telephone and home visit. Statistical evaluation of study hypotheses will include use of hierarchical modeling procedures. Specific aims will describe: 1) the association of violence exposure to maternal distress and parenting; 2) the association of psychological resources to maternal distress and parenting (buffering); and 3) the association of maternal violence exposure and psychological resources to child behavior.
Effective start/end date4/1/044/30/10


  • National Institutes of Health: $497,288.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $467,323.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $492,568.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $496,481.00


  • Medicine(all)


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