Community Violence Exposure and Internalizing and Externalizing Behaviors Among Hmong Americans

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Abstract

Individuals in communities who are exposed to violence are at a greater risk for internalizing and externalizing the effects of violence. This study investigated protective and risk factors in relation to community violence exposure (CVE) and violent behaviors in a sample of Hmong American young adults. Specifically, this study investigated the moderating roles of ethnic identity, parental support, and gender in the relationship between CVE and internalizing and externalizing behaviors in 184 Hmong American young adults between the ages of 18 and 30 years. Results showed that participants reporting higher CVE also reported higher internalizing symptoms and externalizing behaviors. Furthermore, results demonstrated that ethnic identity, gender, and parental support moderated the relationship between CVE and internalizing and externalizing behaviors in our Hmong American participants. Implications for research on Asian Americans and Hmong Americans and community-based research approaches are discussed.

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