Numerous studies have documented a direct association between childrens exposure to community violence and subsequent delinquent behavior. Regrettably, an understanding of the community violence exposure-delinquent behavior link is incomplete because violence-exposed children rarely engage in delinquency immediately. Rather, there are complex, developmental pathways in which these children experience behavioral problems before subsequently exhibiting delinquent behavior. Despite the importance of understanding the mechanisms that illuminate how children exposed to violence in the community might engage in delinquency, relatively few studies have investigated potential mechanisms. This review proposes four potential mechanisms: depression, anxiety/PTSD, conduct disorder, and aggression. More specifically, we examine how certain internalizing and externalizing behaviors can potentially mediate the relationship between community violence exposure and delinquent behavior. We also discuss implications for residential treatment research and practice.
- community violence
- residential treatment