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Injured Children Due to Urban Violence: Psychological and Familial Impact

Grant Winners

  • Jan Faust, Ph.D. – Center for Psychological Studies
  • William Bracker, Psy.D. – Center for Psychological Studies
  • Sarah Nelson, B.A. – Center for Psychological Studies
  • Emily Claus, M.S. – Center for Psychological Studies
  • Rebecca Heidelberg, B.S. – Center for Psychological Studies


  • Karen S. Grosby, M.Ed. – Center for Psychological Studies


Award Winners

Urban Violence is becoming increasingly prevalent and children are often unwitting victims of its effects. Little research has been conducted that has specifically examined the psychological effects of this type of violence on the victim(s), and how such violence and concomitant injury impact the family and parental structures. The purpose of this present study is to examine how post-traumatic stress can develop differently after a child experiences a traumatic event involving either an urban violence related situation (e.g. drive-by-shooting, stabbing, gang-related, etc.) or a non-violent/accidental situation. In addition, we will examine how the individuals' community of living and home environment, levels of support, and social and economic circumstances can affect the development of traumatic stress in conjunction with either a violence related or non-violence related injury. Individuals who have experienced either of these types of injuries between the ages of 6 and 16 will be recruited as inpatients at a local hospital within 48 hours of their initial injury and admittance. Children with severe brain injury will be excluded from the study. Measures of psychosocial and familial functioning will be administered at intake, as well as during 6 and 12 month follow-up visits taking place over the phone. Following the data collection phase, results will be initially analyzed using a two factor mixed design analysis of co-variance (ANCOVA) in multiple regression to remove the effects of identified covariates (e.g., Socio-economic status, race, gender) within the research design as well as to adjust each group mean on the dependent variable. Subsequently, repeated Multivariate analyses of covariance (MANCOVA) will be conducted to determine group differences (urban violence vs. accidental injury) with respect to outcome variables (behavioral and emotional problems, traumatic stress, family functioning and coping levels.)

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