Community Violence Exposure and Risk Taking Behaviors

Black emerging adults ages 18–29, particularly those residing in predominantly black urban communities, are at risk for community violence exposure (CVE). This potentially traumatic event may induce traumatic stress reactions for black emerging adults that contribute to their engagement in violence perpetration, substance use and/or sexual risk-taking behaviors as a way to cope with their experiences. To address these identified concerns and make recommendations for future research, this article identifies and synthesizes results from studies that have examined CVE and its association with violence perpetration, substance use, and sexual risk-taking behaviors among black emerging adults. We use the term “black” throughout the article to refer to a socially constructed racial group or identity and recognize that this group, like all other racial groups in the United States, are ethnically heterogeneous.


Motley, R., Sewell, W. & Chen, YC. (2017) Community Violence Exposure and Risk Taking Behavior Among Black Emerging Adults: A Systematic Review. Journal of Community Health 42: 1069.

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