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Comment & Response
July 9, 2014

Housing Mobility and Adolescent Mental Health

Author Affiliations
  • 1David Norris Consulting LLC, Seattle, Washington
JAMA. 2014;312(2):190. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.6468

To the Editor Dr Kessler and colleagues1 reported that, at follow-up 10 to 15 years later, boys from households that received housing vouchers in the Moving to Opportunity Demonstration experienced 12-month prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) at several times the rate of boys from control households. Part of the explanation for this intriguing finding may lie in a phenomenon described in the Birmingham Youth Violence Study, in which “high levels of community violence exposure attenuated the relationships between home and school violence and adjustment, perhaps reflecting desensitization to violence or a process whereby community levels of violence establish ‘norms’ that affect the interpretation and impact of violence in other settings.”2

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