Post-traumatic stress, dissociation, and antisocial behavior in inner-city adolescents

Amy Louise Hoch-Espada, Pace University

Abstract

Exposure to violence in urban neighborhoods creates enormous threat to inner-city children's well-being, yet until recently research related to inner-city violence and children has been neglected.^ The present study proposed to address the relationship between exposure to violence and two symptoms of a post-traumatic stress constellation, dissociation and antisocial behavior, in inner-city adolescents. The following hypotheses were proposed: (1) Children's degree of exposure to violence would be positively correlated with PTSD symptomology, (2) There would be a positive relationship between post-traumatic stress symptoms and dissociation in children; (3) There would be a positive relationship between post-traumatic stress symptoms and antisocial behavior in children; (4) Children's exposure to violence would be positively correlated with dissociation, as measured by the ADES; and (5) Children's exposure to violence would be positively correlated with antisocial behavior, as measured by the Youth Self Report.^ Participants consisted of 102 seventh-grade students from the Trenton area. Each student was given five self-report measures including a background information sheet, a modified exposure to violence questionnaire, the Child Post-Traumatic Stress Reaction Index (CPTSRI), the Adolescent-Dissociative Experiences Scale (ADES) and the Youth Self Report (YSR). Data analysis consisted of Pearson Product Moment correlations. Additional analyses, including multiple regression, factor analyses and contrast analyses, were also performed.^ The first hypothesis was supported with a positive correlation found between the types and targets of exposure to violence as well as the overall exposure variable with the measure of post traumatic stress symptoms, the CPTSRI. The second hypothesis was supported with a positive correlation found between post traumatic stress symptoms and dissociation. The third hypothesis, was not confirmed by the research. However, a positive correlation was found between one component of antisocial behavior, aggression (YSR), and post traumatic stress symptoms. No relationship could be determined between delinquency (YSR) and post traumatic stress symptoms. The fourth hypothesis was supported with a positive correlation between exposure to violence (overall exposure variable) and dissociation (ADES). Finally, the fifth hypothesis was supported by a positive correlation between exposure to violence (overall exposure variable) and antisocial behavior.^ These results have serious implications for both psychologists and school psychologists working with inner-city youth. (Abstract shortened by UMI.) ^

Subject Area

Psychology, Behavioral|Psychology, Social|Psychology, Clinical|Sociology, Criminology and Penology

Recommended Citation

Amy Louise Hoch-Espada, "Post-traumatic stress, dissociation, and antisocial behavior in inner-city adolescents" (January 1, 1997). ETD Collection for Pace University. Paper AAI9724130.
http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/dissertations/AAI9724130

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