Associations between exposure to violence and depression in 5th grade students: Results from the Healthy Passages study
Purpose. To describe the prevalence of violence exposure and depression and their association among 5th grade students. Methods.. Students (n=5,147) attending 5th grade (mean age 11.12) from three major metropolitan areas in the United States were surveyed on various health-related measures including experience with being a victim of violence (adapted from YRBS and Traumatic Events Screening Inventory) and depressive symptoms (from the DISC Predictive Scale). Prevalence was calculated for rates of violence exposure as well as depression defined as having five or more depressive symptoms. Logistic regression was used to examine the association between exposure to violence and depression. Results. This study found that over 35% of students were exposed to some form of violence such as being threatened, hit, punched, kicked, beaten up, or threatened/injured with a gun or knife. Male students had a higher prevalence than female students on almost all exposure types. Over 7% of students also reported having 5 or more depressive symptoms. All forms of violence were significantly associated with depression. Students who had been a victim of violence were between 2.5 and 6.5 more likely to have five or more depression symptoms. Conslusion. The results of this study underscore the urgent need of collaborative prevention and treatment efforts for children exposed to violence. By preventing such exposure, serious effects including physical injury, mental health problems, and other detrimental outcomes may be mitigated.
Mental health|Educational psychology|Public health
Karny, Efrat, "Associations between exposure to violence and depression in 5th grade students: Results from the Healthy Passages study" (2011). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1497717.