College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences Theses and Dissertations

Graduation Date

11-2009

Document Type

Dissertation

College/Department Conferring Degree

Psychology

Keywords

urban environments, African American teens, ecological perspectives, microsystems, Community Exposure to Violence, Nondisclosure, Parent- Child Attachment, Social Support

Abstract

The present study examines Community Exposure to Violence, Nondisclosure, Parent- Child Attachment, and Social Support, as potential risk and protective factors in a school-based sample of urban African American adolescents. This study also presents an ecological perspective on the role of Nondisclosure in urban African American early adolescents. The Ecological Systems Theory (Bronfenbrenner, 1979) examines a child’s development within the context of systems of relationships that form his or her environment, such as the microsystem (i.e., a system in which the adolescent has direct contact). Particularly, this study tested conceptual models in which adolescents’ nondisclosure to adults (a microsystem occuring at the interpersonal level between adolescents and parents and/or adults) mediates the relation between Community Exposure to Violence (an exosystem system occuring at the environmental level) and psychological symptoms. In addition, moderated mediation analyses were conducted, to determine if the following microsystems, Parent-Child Attachment, and Social Support (from extended kinship and/or non-kinship adults in the neighborhood) are potential protective factors, which are expected to attenuate Nondisclosure mediating the relation between Community Exposure to Violence and Internalizing and Externalizing Symptoms.

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