Conduits from community violence exposure to peer aggression and victimization: contributions of parental monitoring, impulsivity, and deviancy

J Couns Psychol. 2014 Apr;61(2):221-31. doi: 10.1037/a0035207. Epub 2014 Mar 17.


Community violence exposure results in heightened risk for engaging in and being a victim of interpersonal violence. Despite this robust literature, few studies have specifically examined how the relation between community violence exposure, peer aggression, and victimization is modified by individual, peer, and familial influences (considered jointly). In the current study, we used risk and resiliency theory to examine links between community violence exposure and peer aggression and victimization. Impulsivity and parental monitoring were examined as potential moderators of the link between community violence exposure and outcomes, both directly and indirectly via deviant behavior. Survey data on bullying involvement, fighting, deviancy, parental monitoring, and impulsivity were collected on 3 occasions over an 18-month period among a large cohort of adolescents (N = 1,232) in 5th-7th grades. Structural equation modeling suggests that for both male and female adolescents, impulsivity exacerbates the effects of community violence exposure by increasing involvement in deviant behavior. Parental monitoring buffered the effects of community violence exposure on perpetration and victimization (for males and female adolescents) via reduced involvement in deviant behavior. Findings suggest that impulsivity and parental monitoring are implicated in modifying the effects of community violence exposure on both victimization and perpetration through deviancy, although deviancy is not as potent of a predictor for victimization. Thus, prevention efforts would seem to be optimally targeted at multiple ecological levels, including parental involvement and peer networks.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior / psychology
  • Aggression / psychology*
  • Child
  • Crime Victims / psychology*
  • Crime Victims / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Impulsive Behavior / physiology*
  • Juvenile Delinquency / psychology
  • Juvenile Delinquency / statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Midwestern United States
  • Parenting / psychology*
  • Peer Group*
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Violence / psychology*
  • Violence / statistics & numerical data