Objective: To use multiple methods and measures to investigate preliminarily the emotional impact of children's exposure to community violence.
Method: Thirty-seven schoolchildren between the ages of 7 and 12 years were categorized into groups with "high" or "low" frequency of exposure.
Results: Differing levels of exposure to community violence did not appear to have an impact on DSM-III-R diagnoses. Exposure to high levels of community violence was not related to internalizing behavior and disorders, but rather was associated with externalizing behavior.
Conclusions: There appears to be an adverse relationship between high levels of exposure to community violence and emotional and conduct problems. Vicarious learning serves as an explanatory construct for these findings.