Palestinian adolescents' exposure to community violence and internalizing and externalizing symptoms: Parental factors as mediators

Neveen Ali-Saleh Darawshy, Muhammad M. Haj-Yahia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: In this study, we examined the associations of parents' and adolescents' exposure to community violence (CV) with externalizing and internalizing symptoms among adolescents aged 14–18, and the mediating role of some parental factors in these relationships. The study was based on the secondary trauma perspective in explaining parents' exposure to CV and its implications on their offspring. Method: Self-administered questionnaires were filled out by a semi-systematic random sample of 760 Palestinian parent-adolescent dyads from Israel. Results: The findings revealed that most of the Palestinian adolescents had witnessed CV, and more than one-third of them directly experienced such violence during their lifetime. Most of the parents had also witnessed such violence, and almost half of them directly experienced such violence during their lifetime. For parents and adolescents, greater exposure to CV was associated with more internalizing and externalizing symptoms among adolescents. Additionally, results of path analysis indicate that parental stress mediated the correlation between the adolescents' direct experience with CV and internalizing and externalizing symptoms, and it mediated the correlation of the parents' direct experience with CV and internalizing and externalizing symptoms among their adolescent offspring. Conclusions: The strengths and limitations of the study and their implications for future research are discussed. The implications of the results for prevention and intervention are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)397-406
Number of pages10
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
Volume95
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier Ltd

Keywords

  • Directly experiencing community violence
  • Internalizing and externalizing symptoms
  • Palestinian adolescents
  • Parental monitoring
  • Parental stress
  • Witnessing community violence

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