Community violence exposure (CVE), a critical urban problem, is associated with negative academic outcomes. Children who report feeling safe, however, may perform better than those who do not. The purpose of this study was to examine the relations among CVE, feelings of safety, and cognitive outcomes among 6- and 7-year-olds born to women receiving prenatal care at an innercity maternity hospital who participated in a prospective pregnancy study. In addition to obtaining measures of child CVE, IQ, reading, standardized school achievement, and grades, we also evaluated the primary caregiver in order to assess the home and family environment. Greater violence exposure and victimization were related to poorer child outcomes; however, feelings of safety were positively related to most of the cognitive measures, and positive caregiving was related to more optimal cognitive functioning. Increased feelings of safety may allow children to focus on critical school tasks to which they may otherwise be unable to attend.
Horn Ratner, Hilary; Chiodo, Lisa; Covington, Chandice; Sokol, Robert J.; Ager, Joel; and Delaney-Black, Virginia
"Violence Exposure, IQ, Academic Performance,
and Children’s Perception of Safety:
Evidence of Protective Effects,"
Merrill-Palmer Quarterly: Vol. 52:
2, Article 7.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/mpq/vol52/iss2/7