The relationship between social support, self-esteem and exposure to community violence on adolescent's perceptions of well-being
Fourie, Jade Melissa
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Violence is considered to be one of the most critical and threatening global problems plaguing the world today, leaving a trail of devastating consequences to societies, economies, cultures, families and individuals (Desjarlais & Kleinman, 1997). Adolescents who grow up in a context of violence learn distorted ways of thinking, acting, living and interacting. Aggressive tendencies and violent behaviour become internalised and adopted as acceptable ways to resolve conflict situations. Chronic, continuous exposure to violence results in physical, psychological and emotional disturbances, such as depression, anxiety, lowered self-confidence, sleep disturbances, decreased attention and concentration spans. This study addressed the form of violence known as community violence, i.e. violence that children experience within their communities (either as witnesses or as victims). This study investigated the effects of this negative environmental experience and investigated potential mediating and moderating variables that could influence the harmful effects of such experiences. The variables considered as mediating and/or moderating variables were social support and self-esteem. The theoretical framework adopted for this study was Bronfennbrenner's Bioecological Systems theory.