Examining the Factor Structure of the Coping With Community Violence Scale for Urban Youth. Academic Article uri icon


  • Coping strategies may play an important role in how youth respond to exposure to community violence (ECV) and, in turn, influence the impact of violence exposure on their psychosocial functioning. Unfortunately, the research on coping with ECV has not revealed consistent results, suggesting that the uncontrollable and chronic nature of ECV in low-income, urban communities may require stressor-specific coping strategies. Recent qualitative research identified four types of coping that are specific to ECV for African American adolescents. However, additional quantitative research is needed to understand the adaptiveness of these strategies for African American youth. As such, the current study examined the factor structure of the Coping with Community Violence (CWCV) scale, a measure designed to specifically assess ECV-specific coping strategies, in a sample of 594 African American adolescents (Mage = 15.85, SD = 1.42). Furthermore, to demonstrate the predictive validity of the CWCV measure, the current study examined the moderating role of these ECV-specific coping strategies in the association between ECV and externalizing behaviors. Results from a confirmatory factor analysis revealed that a three-factor model that included getting through coping, getting away coping, and getting along coping demonstrated a good fit to the data. Moderation analyses demonstrated that getting through coping and getting away coping interacted with ECV to predict externalizing behaviors, but the results differed by participant gender. Results are discussed in regard to unique context of ECV as it relates to coping and psychosocial behavior in African American adolescents affected by violence exposure.

published proceedings

  • J Interpers Violence

altmetric score

  • 0.25

author list (cited authors)

  • So, S., Gaylord-Harden, N. K., & Voisin, D. R.

citation count

  • 1

complete list of authors

  • So, Suzanna||Gaylord-Harden, Noni K||Voisin, Dexter R

publication date

  • January 2021