Community Violence Exposure and Conduct Problems in Children and Adolescents with Conduct Disorder and Healthy Controls

Kersten, Linda and Vriends, Noortje and Steppan, Martin and Raschle, Nora M. and Praetzlich, Martin and Oldenhof, Helena and Vermeiren, Robert and Jansen, Lucres and Ackermann, Katharina and Bernhard, Anka and Martinelli, Anne and Gonzalez-Madruga, Karen and Puzzo, Ignazio and Wells, Amy and Rogers, Jack C. and Clanton, Roberta and Baker, Rosalind H. and Grisley, Liam and Baumann, Sarah and Gundlach, Malou and Kohls, Gregor and Gonzalez-Torres, Miguel A. and Sesma-Pardo, Eva and Dochnal, Roberta and Lazaratou, Helen and Kalogerakis, Zacharias and Bigorra Gualba, Aitana and Smaragdi, Areti and Siklósi, Réka and Dikeos, Dimitris and Hervás, Amaia and Fernández-Rivas, Aranzazu and De Brito, Stephane A. and Konrad, Kerstin and Herpertz-Dahlmann, Beate and Fairchild, Graeme and Freitag, Christine M. and Popma, Arne and Kieser, Meinhard and Stadler, Christina (2017) Community Violence Exposure and Conduct Problems in Children and Adolescents with Conduct Disorder and Healthy Controls. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 11. pp. 1-14. ISSN 1662-5153

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Abstract

Exposure to community violence through witnessing or being directly victimized has been associated with conduct problems in a range of studies. However, the relationship between community violence exposure (CVE) and conduct problems has never been studied separately in healthy individuals and individuals with conduct disorder (CD). Therefore, it is not clear whether the association between CVE and conduct problems is due to confounding factors, because those with high conduct problems also tend to live in more violent neighborhoods, i.e. an ecological fallacy. Hence, the aim of the present study was: (1) to investigate whether the association between recent CVE and current conduct problems holds true for healthy controls as well as adolescents with a diagnosis of CD; (2) to examine whether the association is stable in both groups when including effects of aggression subtypes (proactive/reactive aggression), age, gender, site and socioeconomic status; and (3) to test whether proactive or reactive aggression mediate the link between CVE and conduct problems . Data from 1178 children and adolescents (62 female; 44 CD) aged between 9 and 18 years from seven European countries were analyzed. Conduct problems were assessed using the Kiddie-Schedule of Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia diagnostic interview. Information about CVE and aggression subtypes was obtained using self-report questionnaires (Social and Health Assessment and Reactive-Proactive aggression Questionnaire, respectively). The association between witnessing community violence and conduct problems was significant in both groups (adolescents with CD and healthy controls). The association was also stable after examining the mediating effects of aggression subtypes while including moderating effects of age, gender and socioeconomic status and controlling for effects of site in both groups. There were no clear differences between the groups in the strength of the association between witnessing violence and conduct problems. However, we found evidence for a ceiling effect, i.e., individuals with very high levels of conduct problems could not show a further increase if exposed to CVE and vice versa. Results indicate that there was no evidence for an ecological fallacy being the primary cause of the association, i.e., CVE must be considered a valid risk factor in the etiology of CD.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: A300 Clinical Medicine
C800 Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences > Dept. Psychology
UoA Collections > REF2021 UoA 04: Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience
Depositing User: Jack Rogers
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2018 13:25
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2018 13:25
URI: http://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/6392

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