Living In Chronically Violent Context Analysis Social Work Essay

The effects on kids of community-based force are effects that raise grave concern in Jamaica and across the universe. Assorted empirical work and reappraisals have well-documented the many negative effects. However, dealingss between community force, the person, the environment, and kid development do non happen in a vacuum.A The impact can be understood as related to alterations in the society, communities, relationships, and otherA socialA contexts which kids experience, and in the psychological procedures activated by theseA societal ecologies.A To advance this inter-related process-oriented position, aA socialA ecologicalA modelA for the effects of community force on kids is presented, to bespeak the demand for bar and intercession plans to undertake the issue of community force from this perspective.A


Populating in inveterate violent context has been a perennial job in developed and developing states with. Community force is increasingly being viewed as a chronic and cumulative stressor that has possible damaging effects on kids ‘s wellness every bit good as school and societal operation ( Isenberg & A ; Mennen, 2000 ) . A broad rand of perennial events may give rise to the chronicity of community force including public violences, sniper onslaughts, anguish, pack feuds, bombardments, cultural cleaning, menaces, and widespread sexual, physical and emotional maltreatment ( Logsdon, 2010 ) . As such, community force is recognized as a major public wellness job ( World Health Organization ( WHO ) , World Report on Violence and Health, 2000 ; Cooley, Lambert, & A ; Along, 2003 ) , and affects all racial, cultural, and socioeconomic groups, with impacts levied most to a great extent on hapless, urban, and minority groups, peculiarly young persons ( Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1997 ; Stein, Jaycee, Karaoke, Rhodes, & A ; Vestal, 2003 ) .

Much of the empirical work done on kids ‘s exposure to community-based force has focused on deductions such as the impacts, protective factors, cause for kids ‘s resiliency, interceding and chairing factors among others, wholly evaluated as degage dimensions ( See Cooley-Strickland, Quill, Griffin, Stuart, Bradshaw, & A ; Fur-Holden, 2009 ; Guterman & A ; Cameron, 1997 ; Hill & A ; Mad here, 2006, Lynch, 2003 ; & A ; Osofsky, 1999 ) . This reappraisal proposes that life in a inveterate violent context has the possible to impact kids ‘s overall quality of life. Therefore, measuring the deductions of kids ‘s experience of life in inveterate violent scene and the impact on their development demand to be looked at from a multi-dimensional degree with it all being interconnected.

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Notably, research that focuses on any one degree run the hazard of misestimating the effects of other contexts ( Klein et al. , 1999 ; Rousseau & A ; House, 1994 ; Stokols, 1996 ) . The intent of this reappraisal includes reciprocally greater penetration into this peculiar context of life in inveterate violent scenes and the proviso of a templet for survey of the impact of kids ‘s exposure to force in the Caribbean and other parts of the world.A Accordingly, the pertinence of this attack is considered for the context of community force in Jamaica. In add-on, the purpose of this paper is to measure the four degrees of Urie Bronfenbrenner ‘s ecological theoretical account paralleling the impacts of community force exposure on kids measuring the interplay with intra-context and inter-context.

The Social Ecological Model

The Social Ecological Model ( SEM ) allows for the integrating of multiple degrees and contexts to set up theA overall impact and in conflict communicating. ( Oetzel, Ting-Toomey, & A ; Rinderle, 2006 ) An person ‘s development is strongly influenced by context ; Bronfenbrenner ‘s theoretical account of the nature and degrees of context has catalyzed the field ( Bronfenbrenner, 1979 ) . The ecological theoretical account illustrates four degrees for sorting context beginning with those ecologies in which the person straight interacts and continuing to progressively distant degrees of the societal universe that affect kid development ( Greenberg, Domitrovich, & A ; Bumbarger 2001 ) .

Within this theoretical account the first degree, the microsystem, is composed of ecologies with which the kid straight interacts such as the household, school, equal group, and vicinity. Second, there is the mesosystem which encompasses the relationships between the assorted Microsystems. For illustration, family-school connexion, family-church connexion or equal dealingss. The absence of mesosystem links may lend be risk factors in development ( Greenberg et al, 2001 ) .

The research workers in explicating the connexions among each degree expounded that interactions within both the microsystem and mesosystem are frequently affected by fortunes that do non straight affect the person. For illustration, kids and young person may be significantly affected by alterations in household construction, parental societal support, statute laws, the societal public assistance system ( e.g. lowered age of consent ) , and exposure to community force, universe struggle or pacts or other societal constructions that create ordinances and patterns that alter microsystem and mesosystem interactions ( Greenberg et al, 2001 ) .

The exosystem is those contexts and actions that indirectly impact the kid ‘s development. Many preventative enterprises and intercessions may be viewed as alterations at the exosystem degree that alter interactions among lower system degrees. Last, the macrosystem represents the widest degree of systems influence, dwelling of the wide ideological and institutional forms and events that define a civilization or subculture ( Greenberg et al, 2001 ) . It is from these four degrees that the impacts of community force are examined in this reappraisal understand beds of influence on behaviour, and besides to place possible marks and go-betweens of intercession.

In analyzing the effects of community force, its most likely relevant to measure every bit the person ‘s direct experience of force every bit good as the existent sum of force that is happening in the surrounding environment, be it direct or indirectly. This differentiation is correspondent to Bronfenbrenner ‘s differentiation between the microsystem and the exosystem ( Bronfenbrenner, 1979 ) . Direct experiences of community force are portion of the kid ‘s immediate environment ( or microsystem ) . These direct experiences occur within a broader context-the exosystem-that provides a wider puting for the kid ‘s immediate experiences. Frequent eruption of force within a vicinity provides a gage of how much force is happening in a community. Though a kid may non be straight sing this, holding an indirect sensitivity to force still can exercise influences on kids ‘s development-through how they affect the handiness and adequateness of resources and supports, and how they affect the household ‘s emotional wellbeing and attack to day-to-day life ( Guterman, Cameron, & A ; Staller, 2000 ) .

Both direct ( microsystemic ) and indirect ( exosystemic ) experiences of community force are indispensable and pertinent to look into, both holding the influence to impact kids ‘s version. Despite the burgeoning of research on assorted variables refering community force, the cognition base remains reasonably diverse. It is dominated by research using an stray and degage impacts and protective factors. An progressively complex and disconnected organic structure of empirical findings, pulling from differing premises and operationalizations of what constitutes community force ” ( Guterman et al. , 2000 ) . The premiss of this paper encourages consolidated organic structure of findings grounded on the foundation that all the degrees of SEM work in tandem which can be used to direct policymaking, plan design and informed planning and execution of bar and intercession programmes.

Main Effectss

The individual/Microsystem

Psychological effects

Findingss within clinical research have indicated that neurological and physiological effects of injury on single rousing and emphasis reactions are common results of exposure to community force ( Perry, 2001 ) .Community force presents a serious factor for traumatisation of kids ( Isenberg & A ; Mennen, 2000 ) . Research has taken into history insistent injury of witnessing community force on populations that are already inveterate stressed by poorness ( Hill & A ; Mad here, 1996 ) . Among the psychological correlatives of kids ‘s exposure to community force are anxiousness symptoms and upsets, depressive symptoms, academic failure, and school detachment ( Boyd, Cooley, Lambert & A ; Along, 2003 and Cooley-Quill, Boyd, Frantz, & A ; Walsh, 2001 )

A diagram exemplifying major psychological impacts of community force ( Boyd et al, 2003 )

Many surveies have demonstrated that exposure to community force can be traumatic for kids. Exposure to community force has been positively correlated with symptoms of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder ( PTSD ) in kids runing in age from the early simple old ages through adolescence ( Cummings, Goeke-Morey, Schemerhorn, Merilees, & A ; Cairns, 2009 ; Lynch, 2003 ; and Lynch & A ; Cicchetti, 1998 ) . Violence exposure of all signifiers apparently has some consequence, witnessing it, hearing about force in the community, and being personally maltreated.

However, chronic exposure to community force and personal victimization by force in peculiar may be peculiarly relevant in the development of symptomatology ( Lynch & A ; Cicchetti, 1998 ) . Victimization by community force has been shown to foretell increased degrees of traumatic emphasis even when demographic variables and anterior symptomatology have been controlled ( Lynch & A ; Cicchetti, 1998 ) .

Violence in its assorted signifiers have been taking a heavy toll on the physical, emotional and mental wellness of Jamaican kids, who exhibit symptoms of depression, PSTSD, aggressive unprompted behavior, trouble concentrating, bedwetting, and attachment jobs. It is of import to observe that many of these symptoms exist within the context of unstable familial environments and are factors that are associated with aggressive and delinquent behaviors ( Samms-Vaughan, 2005 ) , farther fuelling our present endemic of force ( Crawford-Browne, 2010 ) .

Poor quality of life and marginalisation are some societal impact of chronic force exposure ( Crawford-Browne, 2010 ) . The research worker expounded that kids get caught in the symbolic cyberspace of the different signifiers of force which interact with each other with ghastly effects. In explicating farther, it is noted that the different types of force emanates and carom from the assorted systems that interface and intercedes. The impact from a systemic degree is rather distinguishable here. Clear it is that the kid ‘s experience here at all degrees, the place, household, communities and society are impacted ( Crawford-Browne, 2010 ) .

Few surveies to day of the month hold examined the nexus between exposure to community force and abnormal psychologies chiefly because of cost ( Lynch, 2003 ) . In add-on, ethical troubles concerned with a comparing or control group of kids who are exposed to force and non provided services to assist extenuate this exposure. Equally good as the challenge in transporting out a qualitative survey ( Osofsky, 1999 ) . Other effects of community force in relation to the person as a portion of the micro-system are substance maltreatment, projecting jobs, internalising jobs and restrictions to societal knowledge. Findingss have indicated that processing of interpersonal information is negated by community force ( Lynch, 2003 ) Behavioural jobs are besides linked with exposure to community force ( Stein et al, 2003 ) ; among these are projecting jobs and internalising jobs. Childs are at high hazard of for both internalizing and projecting jobs ( Luthar & A ; Goldstein 2004 ) .

Notably, though there is a distinguishable association between behavioral jobs and exposure to force, it is suggested that the way of that association is likely bi-directional. In kernel, behavioral jobs are at the same time a forecaster to exposure to force and a consequence of exposure ( Lynch, 2003 ) .


There is a famine of research on the interpersonal context of kids get bying with community force. Exposure to community force has been found to be associated with a continuum of serious jobs that influence about every facet of a kid ‘s life. Children and their households jointly experience this force and the attendant results are normally heightened fright and anxiousness ( Isenberg & A ; Mennen, 2000 ) . As celebrated these include internalizing and projecting jobs, substance maltreatment, perturbations of knowledge, hapless equal relationships, lowered educational results, and higher rates of juvenile justness offenses ( Osofsky, Wewers, Hann, & A ; Fick, 1993 ; Osofsky, 1999 ; Lynch, 2003 ) . In the face of high community force, positive household procedures may hold modest protective potency ( Luthar & A ; Goldstein 2004 ) . This point on the importance of household processes reiterates the importance of the mesosystem nexus within the ecological theoretical account and its function on kid development. The map resiliency of kids can non be overlooked as across the literature reviewed the impacts of household and peer support were documented. Parental support, school support and peer support service has cardinal protective factors in kids ‘s resiliency ( Lynch 2003 ) .

Among households populating in conditions of poorness, positive parenting, embracing high kids monitoring, support and coherence, can assist kids keep equal degrees of accommodation. Personal and household contextual factors may protect an person from the inauspicious impact of exposure to community force ( Gorma-Smith, Henry, & A ; Tolan, 2004 ) Nevertheless, even the “ best ” of households will hold some grade of restriction in screening their kids when life in communities where force is a day-to-day characteristic of life ( Luthar & A ; Goldstein, 2004 ) . This strengthens the point of the demand for impacts of community force non to be evaluated in a bit-by-bit manner, but as a cohesive whole. For intercessions the findings underscore the demand to command force in communities with attempts at both national policy and community degrees turn toing issues such as good control, vicinity ticker, coherence, communities, citizens associations and safety in schools such as the Peace and Love in School ( PALS ) programme ( Luthar & A ; Goldstein, 2004 ) . In kernel, furthering a systemic attack is recommended.

Exosystem/the Community

More urban kids have been caught in gun crossfire than non-urban striplings ( 24 % vs. 4 % ; ) ( Stein et al, 2003 ) . Research workers have asserted that low income communities are likely have higher rates of community force with inner-city kids at higher hazard of being exposed to condemnable offenses ( Jipguep & A ; Sanders-Phillips, ) A Robbery was an about cosmopolitan experience impacting kids from all schools and socio-economic groups ( Samms-Vaughan, Jackson & A ; Ashley, 2005 ) . The research workers explained that the high degree of community force in Jamaica is likely to expose Jamaican kids to force. Their survey reported that a one-fourth of the kids who completed given questionnaires had witnessed terrible Acts of the Apostless of physical force such as robbery, hiting and pack wars, a fifth had been victims of serious menaces or robbery and one in every 12 had been stabbed. The research workers recommended that intercession schemes to cut down kids ‘s exposure to force should include community instruction on the impact of exposure to force on kids, and the development of a scope of school-based force bar programmes ( Samms-Vaughan et Al, 2005 ) . The suggestion of integrating a community-based attack to counter effects of community force clearly tracts an ecological attack and valuing the relevancy of the exosystem.

Besides reiterated are the impacts of community force on instruction and leisure activities. When kids experience force at concentrated degrees, in so many cases and from so many waies, they are affected holistically- emotionally, psychologically and cognitively. This state of affairs undermines their ability to be educated every bit good as entree to instruction that is available ( Crawford-Browne, 2010 ) . It is common that kids would lose school because of sudden flair in force. United Nations research shows a direct correlativity between disbursement on instruction and degrees of offense. “ In the Caribbean, Barbados has the lowest force and highest instruction. Haiti has the highest offense and the lowest instruction. One of the schemes to acquire people to take part less in offense is to educate them. Education leads to character edifice. At the same clip, loss of gross caused by offense agencies that less can be used on instruction, ” Herbert Gayle said ( Jamaica Burden of Crime, 2009 ) .

Pauletta Chevannes, a lector in the Department of Education, University of the West Indies, observing that offense continues to impact greatly on the instruction system, insists that merely with broad societal alteration can the job be solved ( Jamaica Burden of Crime, 2009 ) . This wider alteration reiterates the statement of this paper that executions have to see the wider degrees of the socio-ecological theoretical account.

Repeated general population surveies would let us to better understand how kids ‘s exposure to force is altering overtime ( Stein et. Al, 2003 ) . The inquiry here would be are community force types different now. A clear reply would come from looking at the overall kineticss of interactions within each degrees of the SEM. To repeat, contextual factors are of import in finding the impact of force exposure on kids ( Stein et. Al, 2003 ) . This could be used to better inform force bar programmes for both schools and community, and to travel the research field toward better scientific discipline around the interplay between force exposure, emotional and behavioral results, the impact of bar and intercession programmes, and needed alterations in public policy ( Stein et. Al, 2003 ) .


Macrosystems by and large talking is the civilization in which we live and the broader scope of society. The literature on community force has shown that many negative results are consequences from such exposure and foreground the rippling effects ( Lynch, 2003, Stein, 2003 & A ; Osofsky, 1999 ) . With community force being more prone to happen in down urban countries it is pertinent to advert the other contributory hazard factors that affect persons. Multiple hazard factors that may impact persons in force prone countries are poorness, overcrowding, unequal medical attention, scarceness of community resources and parental employment ; all lending their ain portion of hardship to the context of development. The whole system is interrelated ( Lynch 2003 ) .

Notably, while hazard of exposure to force is higher among hapless, dumbly populated urban countries, it is non restricted to this group. The effects of exposure to community force on wellness and operation are huge, peculiarly in vulnerable populations. Community force has the possible to impact national budgetary financess for wellness, security and justness sections. Exposure to community force was strongly related to PTSD, for both victim and informant had inauspicious mental wellness results ( Fowler, Tompsett, Braciszewski, Jacques-Tiura, & A ; Bates, 2009 ) . It is of import to analyze the challenges victims and culprits may hold. However, to widen apprehension of effects of chronic force on kids focus demand besides be topographic point on the “ ripple effects ” of the psychological impacts on kids who are affected indirectly, every bit good as community and national entities ( Osofsky, 1999 ) .

Economic and societal activities have been well reduced communities affected by force, schools are under populated and when there is sudden effusion of force concerns, every bit good as schools near, the Statistical Institute of Jamaica ( STATIN ) stated in a 2007 study on “ Violence and its Costss ” . Audrey Pottinger, a adviser clinical psychologist at the Department of Child Guidance attached to the University of the West Indies explained that the most frequent and traumatising experiences pupils have are barbarous tea-sing or verbal humiliation, followed by robbery and physical onslaught, in mention to a recent survey done with a sample of more than 200 pupils from primary and secondary schools ( Jamaica ‘s Burden of offense, 2009 ) .

Impact on Development

To better understand dealingss between force and kid development it is important to analyze the effects from multiple degrees of social operation, including community and domestic struggle and psychological procedures associated with force exposure ( Feerick & A ; Prinz, 2003 ) . One position across the field of literature explored is that theoretical theoretical accounts are need farther development and testing. These theoretical accounts are needed for more compelling account on how and why exposure to force affects child development at different degrees. Well documented literature indicates that kid development is affected socially, emotionally, cognitively, and neurologically. Such models have the potency to better measure societal, cultural, cultural, and political contexts that are built-in to understanding the impact of force exposure ( Feerick & A ; Prinz, 2003 ) .Using the SEM is one suggestion.

Community force impact is a map, in portion, of alterations initiated in the communities, households and other societal contexts in which kids live, and in the psychological procedures engaged by the societal ecology of community force ( Cummings, Goeke-Morey, Schermerhorn, Merrilees, & A ; Cairns, 2009 ) . Therefore in order to understand better dealingss between community force and kid development it is of import to look into the effects due to the dimensional degrees of social operation, including community and psychological procedures associated with exposure to struggle and force ( Feerick & A ; Prinz 2003 ) .

This reappraisal pushes frontward the ecological model for gestating the impact of community force on kids informed by theories about effects of struggle and force on kids and including multiple new waies in measurement, appraisal of societal ecological influences, and advanced analytic attacks. The purpose here is to include broader penetration into peculiar context for community force and kid development and besides the proviso of a templet for survey, both through empirical observation and conceptually, of the impacts of kids ‘s exposure to violence throughout the universe. This was the purpose of Cummings et Al, in their work on political force ( 2009 )

Babies and yearlings, who witness force in their places or community show inordinate crossness, immature behavior, sleep perturbations, emotional arrested development in lavatory preparation and linguistic communication. Community force has inauspicious effects on kids ‘s physical cognitive, emotional and societal development ( Osofsky, 1999 ) . Whether a kid ‘s exposure to violence leads to withdrawal or increased aggression and force is likely to depend on a assortment of factors, including the age at which the injury occurred, the supports in the environment, and the features of the kid ( Osofsky, 1999 ) . See Osofsky for the different developmental difference in the effects of exposure ( 1999 ) .

One concern is that excessively small attending has been given to the possible long term impact. Concerns have been raised about the kids ‘s ability to negociate developmental passages in ulterior life. Exposure to force can hold important effects on kids during their development, and as they form their ain confidant relationships in childhood and maturity ( Cummings et al, 2009 ; and Osofsky, 1999 ) . One suggestion for better scrutiny of the effects of community force is the usage of longitudinal surveies ( Stein et. Al, 2003 ) . The research workers explained that the usage of longitudinal surveies would let appraisal of the effects of force on the developmental waies of kids.

Bearing in head that the chronicity ( when, how frequently, and over what clip frame ) of force exposure may significantly act upon a kid ‘s developmental flight. In this respect longitudinal surveies are indispensable to better understanding how early force exposure relates to later force exposure, symptoms development, school public presentation, force commission, every bit good as other high hazard behaviors ( Stein et. Al, 2003 ) . This attack would tap into some degrees of the systemic attack to analyzing the effects, but the interactions within and the influences of the macrosystem variables ( poorness, deficiency of resources, socio-economic position, and lodging ) are every bit of import factors to be considered.


Exposure to community force does non happen in isolation. Further research needs to be conducted on societal, environmental and contextual factors that protect vulnerable populations, such as adult females, striplings and kids from inauspicious results related to force ( Isenberg & A ; Herrenkohl, 2008 ) . Recommendations have been made to analyze go-between and moderating variables, which in consequence provides farther investigation into the facet of context and the interrelation among the dimensions of countries within the theoretical account. Interceding variables would be factors within the kid and the societal environment. Moderating variables refer to features of exposure, feature of kid and feature of the societal environment ( Lynch, 2003 ) .

Exposure to community force occurs less often for kids who did non populate in lower socio-economic location ( Osofsky, 1999 ) . This is an indicant that from a macro-system position poorer communities need to be targeted to stem the overall rippling effects and likeliness of community force happening in these countries. Focus should surely non me on the victims here, but besides the context of the poorer community that may already be laden with other societal hazard factors.

In add-on, Dr Herbert Gayle, University of the West Indies-based anthropologist who produced the recent survey on early preparation of males in condemnable behavior, recommended that governments should put more in instruction as one agencies of cut downing offense ( Jamaica ‘s Burden of offense, 2009 ) .

It has been posited that specific issues for research issues in relation to community force demand to be probed ( Feerick and Prinz 2003 ) . Suggested issues include effects of co-occurring hazard factors, go-betweens, moderators and mechanisms. Noting the premiss of this reappraisal cautiousness is aired with respect to this “ specific issues ” attack from the position that issues should non be investigated in a degage manner, but instead enmeshed to further holistic solutions. Besides, intercessions should be conducted across the wide scope of intercession plans including school-based plans, educational enterprises for jurisprudence support officers and curative crisis intercession ( Cumming et al, 2009 ) . Beging that in measuring how kids ‘s long term development is affected by different types of multiple degrees of force requires farther systemic survey.

The individual which in babyhood consists chiefly of biological make-up is straight influenced by the immediate environment or the nearest circle environing the person, which sets into play a series of interaction between societal environments. This on-going interaction establishes a system. Attempts to advance wellness utilizing this theoretical account focal point on the interactions between the assorted environments, how full societal systems are maintained and try to change the interaction between the assorted environments such as the societal qualities within the environments that have the most influence on the individual, their behavior and how the individual interacts with their societal environment.

Violence Prevention

There are single and community attacks to violence bar ( World Health Organization, 2002 ) . On an single degree, public wellness governments should promote healthy behaviors that do non include force every bit good as educating persons in order to carry them to alter violent behaviors. In the community there are many chances to raise public consciousness and root community force. Recommending for policy alterations that address larger environmental issues ( See Logsdon, 2010 ) . Merely with alteration that address the issue of community force from the dimensions of the socio-ecological model- in doing informed planning and implementing with respect to bar and intercession scheduling.

Intervention requires understanding the factors that work in tandem with others

The four-level-social economic theoretical account allows for better apprehension of community force impact. This theoretical account considers the complex interplay between single, relationship, community, and social factors. It allows for the rating of factors that put people at hazard for sing and perpetuating force. Looking at the impact of life in a violent scene should look at the continuum of the context of the community that will afford turn toing multiple degrees of the community as the SEM suggests.

Figure 1: A diagram exemplifying an version to Urie Bronfenbronner ‘s ecological theoretical account.

From a bar and intercession the most important deduction drawn from the organic structure of literature is that in bar attempts, the primary focal point must be on the environment instead than the persons sing the force ( Gorman-Smith et. Al, 2003 and Luthar & A ; Goldstein 2004 ) . However both environment and single factors need to be focused on in tandem as both are every bit of import in covering with the Southern Cross of the affair in doing informed and balanced intercessions. The highest recommendation is the bar of community force ( Luthar & A ; Goldstein, 2004 ) . Targeting the issue of community force as a whole from an ecological theoretical account position is the more likely successful manner to tap every sphere that influences its pervasiveness.


The societal ecological theoretical account is a model to understanding development that occurs in assorted domains due to actions in different systems. There are many effects that occur from cross-level influences and relationship between and among degrees that the SEM references. Using the ecological theoretical account as dimensions to the prolongation of community force is one manner to undertake its many impacts. This purpose of this paper was to place the interrelation of the impacts of community force at all degrees on the societal ecological theoretical account. In add-on, recommendations are made that bar and intercession plans use this systemic attack to better reference and restrict the impacts of community force.


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