2020 Undergraduate Research Showcase


The Effects of Violence Proximity on Adolescent Depression

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Megan Smith


Experiencing physical violence has been shown to be a risk factor for depression. Many studies have looked into how childhood trauma has affected adult mental health, but this study investigates the effect of violence on an adolescent sample and investigates potential proximity effects on depression. The study employed a survey which included 9,181 adolescents in grades 5-12 and asked about their experiences of violence and depression. Participants were grouped into four categories (in the last 30 days, in the last 12 months, more than 12 months ago, and never) based on their response to “Have you ever experienced physical violence by an adult?” The SCL-90 questions were used to evaluate depression. A one way ANOVA was conducted to compare the effect of violence proximity to depression outcomes. An analysis of variance showed that the effect of violence proximity and experiencing depression was significant at the p<.05 level, F(4,9176)= 119.28. The group who had the highest depression score had experienced violence more than twelve months ago followed by in the last 12 months, last 30 days, and as expected no violence had the lowest mean depression score.

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