Young adult trauma symptoms in the context of community violence exposure

Andrea R. Cole, James Jaccard, Michelle R. Munson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims: The primary purpose of this study is to understand how community violence exposure is associated with both common and unique variance characterizing posttraumatic stress (PTS) symptoms among young adults living in a low-resourced setting. Methods: Data were collected using a cross-sectional survey design. Participants were recruited from public housing developments in a city in the eastern United States. Participants completed a survey that included questions related to community violence, PTS symptoms, and optimism. Data were analyzed using structural equation modeling. Results: We found a relationship between a generalized PTS response and each of the PTS symptom categories. Experiencing community violence was significantly related to generalized PTS response over and above other traumatic events. Conclusion: Young adults who experience community violence have a general distress response to those experiences, and yet, beyond that general response, there are ways in which each symptom is distinct from a generalized distress reaction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2517-2531
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Community Psychology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Nov 1 2020


  • community violence
  • trauma
  • young adults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


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