The Relationship between Women's Community Violence Exposure and Depression

Ashley Munger, University of Maryland
Sandra Hofferth, University of Maryland

Research concerning the impacts of community violence exposure (CVE), a significant public health concern, has focused primarily on children. Evidence suggests that CVE can impact children directly, as well as indirectly through the family. For instance, mothers exposed to CV may be more likely to experience depression. In turn, maternal depression is associated with negative child outcomes. However, little research carefully examines the relationship between mothers’ CVE and depression. Using two waves of data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, this study examines whether depression at time two is predicted by previous, recent, or chronic exposure among mothers not depressed at time one. Preliminary results indicate that those with chronic and previous exposure were more likely to experience depression. Developing a better understanding of mothers’ CVE and depression will aid in the development of more refined models concerning the impact of CVE on mothers and their children.

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Presented in Session 58: Environmental Stressors and Health