Limited work has focused on understanding mechanisms through which violence negatively impacts youth outcomes. The present study investigates how three different facets of violence exposure (witnessing violence, victimization and armed conflict) relate to Colombian youth externalizing behaviors via the indirect influence of aggressive cognitions and the moderating role of community belongingness. Data were from a sample of students (N = 3,483) in public high schools in Colombia. Findings indicated all three facets of violence were positively associated with youth externalizing behaviors. Armed conflict and witnessing community violence positively predicted externalizing behaviors via the indirect effect of aggressive cognitions. Community belongingness moderated the association between armed conflict and witnessing on aggressive cognitions. Results highlight the need for understanding risk and protective factors from a contextual lens. The role of community belongingness as a resilience factor is discussed, as such it has implications for intervention programs targeting youth at greater risk to violence exposure.
- risk behavior
- violent behavior
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Sociology and Political Science
- Social Sciences(all)