The Implications of Executive Functioning on Community Adversity and Violence and Mental Health Outcomes

Sireen B. Irsheid, Rachel C. Garthe, Deborah Gorman-Smith, Michael Schoeny

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Exposure to community adversities and violence can be associated with a cascade of neurocognitive, mental health, and behavioral challenges among urban adolescents. Influenced by the bio-ecological framework, this study examines if problems with executive functioning (EF) exacerbate the relation between exposure to community adversity and violence and internalizing symptoms (e.g., depression, anxiety, and somatic symptoms) and externalizing behaviors (e.g., hyperactivity and attention problems) for males and females. Participants included 300 primarily African American and Latine adolescents (Mage = 15.42, SD = 1.21; 51% female) who reside in 30 census tracts from urban neighborhoods historically and systematically divested from, located on the West and South sides of Chicago. Pending the radical reconfiguration of power, systems, and community to fundamentally challenge the systemic policies and processes that contribute to these adverse experiences, findings from this study provide important implications for clinical practice and school-based interventions that could support adolescents’ psychological, behavioral, and emotional needs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)321-350
Number of pages30
JournalYouth and Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2023


  • African-American
  • Latino
  • mental health
  • neighborhood context
  • race/ethnicity
  • urban context

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • General Social Sciences


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