Community Violence and Children on Chicago’s Southside

This report summarizes a program of study on African-American children and violence conducted by a comprehensive community mental health center on the southside of Chicago. The research, which looked at exposure to violence, self-reports of aggression, and possible interventions, grew out of: (1) an awareness of the enormous amount of familial and extrafamilial violence in the black community; (2) clinical experiences that indicated that victimization and covictimization (i.e., victimization of close others) were often significant factors in the lives of the mentally ill; (3) a growing uneasiness, and indeed curiosity, over the extent to which children were witnessing these events and the impact of this witnessing, particularly on their own levels of aggression; and (4) a belief that the integrity of the black community was being threatened by the violence and that solutions must be sought.

Publication Date

June 2018

Publication Name


Violence type

Carl Bell and Esther Jenkins