The comparative and cumulative impact of different forms of violence exposure during childhood and adolescence on long-term adult outcomes.

Oberth, C., Goulter, N., & McMahon, R. J. (in press). The comparative and cumulative impact of different forms of violence exposure during childhood and adolescence on long-term adult outcomes. Development and Psychopathology.

Abstract: Violence exposure during childhood and adolescence is associated with a range of negative psychosocial outcomes. Research examining the impact of violence exposure has been limited by the compartmentalization into separate bodies of research (e.g., community violence, domestic violence). There is also a paucity of research examining long-term adult outcomes. Using a large and racially diverse sample (N = 754; male = 58%; Black = 46%), the current longitudinal study aimed to elucidate the comparative and cumulative effect of different types of violence exposure (witnessing versus victimization) across different locations (home, school, neighborhood) in childhood and adolescence (lifetime through grade 8) on long-term internalizing, externalizing, and attention problems; substance use; and intimate partner violence in adulthood (age 25). Victimization, but not witnessing violence, predicted all five adult outcomes. Specifically, being victimized at home was associated with the widest range of negative outcomes (internalizing, externalizing, and attention problems), while school victimization was associated with substance use. Further, when youth experienced multiple types of violence across multiple locations (cumulative violence exposure), they experienced a more diverse range of negative outcomes in adulthood (composite score). The current study highlights the stronger effects of violence exposure in more proximal contexts, and how these locations are important for emotional and behavioral development.

Keywords:
Anger