A systematic review of socioecological factors, community violence exposure, and disparities for Latinx youth

J Trauma Stress. 2021 Oct;34(5):1027-1044. doi: 10.1002/jts.22733. Epub 2021 Oct 13.


Community violence exposure poses a public health risk exacerbated by immigration-related stressors and environmental factors, including systemic racism and interpersonal discrimination, socioeconomic disparities, and anti-immigrant laws and policies, that disproportionately impact Latinx-immigrant and systematically minoritized youth. Using the ecological-transactional model of community violence as a conceptual framework, this systematic review was conducted to examine research on exposure to community violence, risk and protective factors, and associated health and mental health sequelae among Latinx youth. The initial search generated 2,152 articles, 291 of which were reviewed for detailed evaluation; ultimately, 59 articles were included. Mexican-origin youth and adolescent samples were the most represented in research studies. Across several studies, Latinx youth reported high rates of violence exposure and poor health or mental health outcomes. The findings revealed important gaps in socioecological factors, with a dearth of evidence establishing macrosystem factors or culturally salient and immigrant-related factors. Notable risk and protective factors at various ecological levels were identified and discussed as key opportunities for future research and points of intervention or prevention efforts for Latinx-immigrant and systematically minoritized youth.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Emigration and Immigration
  • Exposure to Violence*
  • Humans
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic*
  • Systemic Racism
  • Violence