Exposure to violence in young inner-city adolescents: relationships with suicidal ideation, depression, and PTSD symptomatology

J Abnorm Child Psychol. 1999 Jun;27(3):203-13. doi: 10.1023/a:1021900423004.


This study examined the relationship of exposure to violence to suicidal ideation, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptomatology in 94 young adolescents from an inner-city school. Participants completed self-report measures of the Reynolds Adolescent Depression Scale, the Suicidal Ideation Questionnaire--Junior, Adolescent Psychopathology Scale--Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Subscale, and the Exposure to Violence Questionnaire. Using a hierarchical multiple regression design, exposure to violence demonstrated a unique relationship with PTSD symptomatology. Specifically, the relationship between violence exposure and PTSD symptomatology remained significant after controlling for depression and suicidal ideation severity. Controlling for PTSD symptomatology resulted in nonsignificant relationships between violence exposure and depression and suicidal ideation in adolescents. Additional analyses suggest that PTSD functions as a mediating variable between exposure to violence and depression and suicidal ideation. The implication of these results and suggestions for future research are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior
  • Child
  • Depression / etiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / etiology*
  • Stress, Psychological
  • Suicide, Attempted / psychology*
  • Urban Population
  • Violence / psychology*