Community Violence, PTSD, Hopelessness, Substance Use, and Perpetuation of Violence in an Urban Environment

Uma Raman, Philip A. Bonanno, Devika Sachdev, Aparna Govindan, Atharva Dhole, Oluwafeyijimi Salako, Jay Patel, Lama R. Noureddine, Jessica Tu, Jenieve Guevarra-Fernández, Ashley Leto, Christopher Nemeh, Aesha Patel, Alexis Nicheporuck, Ashley Tran, Cheryl A. Kennedy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


We investigated the relationships among chronic violence exposure, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptom severity, hopelessness, substance use, and perpetuation of violence to facilitate the development of trauma-related interventions for residents of Newark, NJ. A convenience sample of Newark residents (N = 153) was recruited from community centers during various events in 2016–2017. Anonymous, self-report survey measures included a PTSD screen (PCL-C), Beck’s Hopelessness Scale, the CAGE questionnaire, and a CDC Health Behavior Scale. Descriptive statistics, Pearson’s correlations, Chi square analyses, logistic, and linear regressions were used for analysis. Thirty percent (95% CI [22.7, 37.4]) of our sample screened positive for PTSD. Drug and alcohol use, fighting, and hopelessness were related to severity of PTSD symptoms (p < 0.05). Female gender, CAGE scores, and hopelessness predicted the severity of PTSD symptoms (R2 = 0.354, p < 0.05). Our data has informed the development of a resilience support group currently in the pilot stage for community members.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)622-630
Number of pages9
JournalCommunity Mental Health Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 2021
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


  • Community violence
  • Hopelessness
  • Interventions
  • Mental health
  • Newark
  • PTSD


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