This proposal describes a short-term longitudinal investigation of the mental health consequences of exposure to violence on school-aged children. This study will include detailed analyses of different contexts n which violence occurs, examination of factors that moderate children's response to violence, and nvestigation of processes that mediate its effects on mental health and daily functioning. The central goals of the proposed research are to (1) document the impact of violence in different contexts on posttraumatic stress reactions in children and (2) examine additional signs of functional impairment in school. Two cohorts of high-risk urban children (N = 225) and their maternal caregivers will participate in a two-year longitudinal follow-up. Children and their caregivers will be seen during the summer preceding the target child's entry into 4th grade. Children's exposure to violence, cognitive and emotional processing, and family functioning will be assessed at this time. In addition, several biobehavioral variables in children will be assessed. In the fall assessments of children's current level of symptomatology will be obtained, as well as ratings of their experiences in school. At the end of the academic year, measures of children's functioning in school will be obtained including indicators of academic achievement, motivational orientation, and behavioral engagement. All children and caregivers will receive a similar battery of assessments two years later when the target child is in 6th grade in order to examine the effects of exposure to violence on symptomatology and functional impairment over time. Knowledge gained from this study will increase understanding of the effects of violence on children's development. In particular, it will help to identify (a) children who are especially vulnerable to violence and its negative effects and (b) modifiable processes that link exposure to violence with poor mental health outcomes in children. As a result, more targeted interventions can be designed that will help to reduce symptomatology and functional impairment in children exposed to violence.
|Lynch, Michael; Manly, Jody Todd; Cicchetti, Dante (2015) A multilevel prediction of physiological response to challenge: Interactions among child maltreatment, neighborhood crime, endothelial nitric oxide synthase gene (eNOS), and GABA(A) receptor subunit alpha-6 gene (GABRA6). Dev Psychopathol 27:1471-87|
|Manly, Jody Todd; Oshri, Assaf; Lynch, Michael et al. (2013) Child neglect and the development of externalizing behavior problems: associations with maternal drug dependence and neighborhood crime. Child Maltreat 18:17-29|
|Manly, Jody Todd; Lynch, Michael; Oshri, Assaf et al. (2013) The impact of neglect on initial adaptation to school. Child Maltreat 18:155-70|