Gender Differences in Posttraumatic Stress and Related Symptoms Among Inner-City Minority Youth Exposed to Community Violence
This study examined gender differences in levels of violence exposure, and in levels of posttraumatic stress (PTS) and related symptomatology in a sample of inner-city predominantly African American youth. Because such youth are at risk for exposure to chronic community violence, they are likely to experience considerable distress and clinical or subclinical levels of posttraumatic stress and related symptoms. Previous research has found that although boys are exposed to violence more frequently than are girls, girls are more likely to express posttraumatic stress and related symptoms as a result of violence exposure. Thus, we examined gender as a moderator of the relation between violence exposure and symptoms. A stronger positive association of anxiety and depression symptoms with extent of community violence exposure for girls than boys was found. It was also found that while girls do not appear to differ in their responses to witnessing violence versus being a victim of violence, boys appear to be more distressed by being a victim of violence than by witnessing violence.