Exposure to Community Violence and Physical Health Outcomes in Youth: A Systematic Review.

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Exposure to Community Violence and Physical Health Outcomes in Youth: A Systematic Review.

J Pediatr Psychol. 2016 Oct 28;:

Authors: Wright AW, Austin M, Booth C, Kliewer W

Abstract
OBJECTIVE?: To systematically review the evidence for associations between exposure to community violence and physical health outcomes in children and adolescents. METHODS?: A thorough search of multiple online databases and careful consideration of inclusion and exclusion criteria yielded a final 28 studies for detailed review. In addition to review of findings, studies were rated on overall quality based on study design. RESULTS?: Seven categories of physical health outcomes emerged, including asthma/respiratory health, cardiovascular health, immune functioning, hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis functioning, sleep problems, weight, and a general health category. There were mixed findings across these categories. Evidence for a positive association between community violence exposure and health problems was strongest in the cardiovascular health and sleep categories. CONCLUSION?: There is reason to believe that community violence exposure has an effect on some areas of physical health. Additional well-designed research that focuses on mechanisms as well as outcomes is warranted.

PMID: 27794530 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

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