Psychological Intervention and Prevention Programs for Child and Adolescent Exposure to Community Violence: A Systematic Review

Neveen Ali-Saleh Darawshy, Abigail Gewirtz, Scott Marsalis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

The purpose of this article is to systematically review the existing literature regarding intervention and prevention programs that ameliorate the negative effects of exposure to community violence (ECV) on children and adolescents. Using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review (PRISMA) Guidelines, we conducted a systematic review of the literature aimed at providing a synthesis of the extant Randomized Control Trials (RCT) and peer-reviewed empirical literature on intervention and prevention programs for those affected by ECV. Nine randomized controlled trials were identified: seven studies with elementary school students in the USA, one study with elementary school students in Colombia, and one study with middle school students in the USA. Most trials compared intervention and no-treatment control groups; three studies compared active interventions. The intervention and prevention trials conducted in school settings in the USA showed most impact on reducing internalizing and PTSD symptoms. The evidence base of intervention and prevention programs for child and adolescent exposure to community violence is very limited. This systematic review synthesizes extant evidence of the effectiveness of intervention programs in reducing internalizing and externalizing symptoms, PTSD, exposure to community violence, and in enhancing academic performance. More studies are needed to provide a better understanding of how interventions might ameliorate the adverse consequences of exposure to community violence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalClinical Child and Family Psychology Review
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2020

Keywords

  • Children and Adolescents
  • Community violence
  • Experiencing violence
  • Prevention and intervention
  • Victim
  • Witnessing violence

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Review

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