Exposure to Violence & Depression Research Proposal












Exposure to Violence & Depression Research Proposal

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Exposure to Violence & Depression Research Proposal


The contemporary society is becoming more violent with several factors such as socio-economic, cultural, politics, and diversity in religion, contributing to unrest. Indeed, with different forms of violence, for example, domestic, community, political, and interpersonal violence, there is growing attention on the links between the various types of violence and the full range of exposure to this forms of violence. The exposure to violence is a risk factor for the physical health of an individual, and this can have ripple effects on their mental health. According to Ward et al., (2016), studies indicate that both the victims and those who witness traumatic events can end up experiencing a wide range of post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD) and this can jeopardize the proper functioning of the individual in their later life. In this study, it aims at providing an overview of the relationships that exist between violence and depression from the perspective of a researcher and exploring the connections between violence, race, and gender. The study will also examine means of aiding in the prevention and reduction of violence among the various human races.


There is a growing acknowledgment that factors such as race and gender shape the experience of violence. While violence is a pervasive complex issue involving humans and their relationships with other individuals in the community, it has been shown to have harmful effects on the wellbeing of people (Ward et al., 2016). Previous research has covered the various ways in which the various forms of violence affect people based on their races and genders. However, such research has primarily focused on the white populations as the recipient of violence. On the other hand, the black people have virtually been omitted, and in those instances where they were included, it was in ways which defined them as deviant (Ward et al., 2016). Exploring the complexity of violence in the lives of blacks, Hispanic, and people of Asian origin can further the understanding of their situations and its contribution to depression. The research will build on the previous analysis of violence in the contemporary society and will, therefore, highlight discourses in the race, gender, depression, and violence thereby providing a deeper understanding and insight into the concept of violence and depression among the different races.

General Problem Statement

Research in the area of violence has tried to highlight the issues of motivation and the impact that violence has on the victims (Ribeiro et al., 2009). Generally, violence entails all the intentional actions that can cause harm towards an individual, and this can include both emotional and psychological damage. Although the primary focus of the research paper will be on the outcomes of violent behaviors on individuals, the article will highlight exposure to violence which is an important factor in explaining the impacts of violence and how it leads to depression. According to Ribeiro et al., (2009) the exposure to violence or any other form of psychological abuse is associated with the prevalence of depression and anxiety to the victims. Indeed, women are more than likely to be victims of violence in comparison to men, and they also exhibit a higher probability of being depressed. The difference in the frequency of depression among men and women can be explained by factors such as the different social roles between men and women, violence and abuse, and sex discrimination (Marc, 2018). The females that have suffered from violence are at a higher risk of depression compared to the non-abused women with partner abuse being a significant contributor.

Depression has severe repercussions on the individual, and this affects how the individual feels the way they act, and the way a person thinks (Ribeiro et al., 2009). Extensive literature exists that shows the relationship that exists between violence and depressive symptoms in the cohorts of Hispanic, Asians, Blacks, and Whites. However, the reason for the inherent association between abuse and depression is not readily apparent as there lacks an obvious connection. Nonetheless, it could be possible that violence and depression always coexist because of other underlying factors that are responsible for the occurrence of both, for example, alcohol and substance abuse or trauma resulting from violence.    

Specific Problem Statement

The persistence of violence over the past few decades suggests that interpersonal violence and political violence are interrelated and this is primarily in those instances with weak institutions and social norms. According to Ribeiro et al., (2009), the exposure to violence in any setting, for example, at home, at school, or in the community, can have severe behavioral and mental health consequences to the victims and the witnesses. In this study, 60 individuals from different ethnic background and genders indicated varying levels of exposure to violence and the consequent effects on their mental health. In those societies that have unequal social status and this is based on their ethnicity, gender, or any other external characteristics, violence can take place on multiple levels that include: first, the personal level of violence that entails the exposure of the individual to prejudice and racial discrimination (Ward et al., 2016). Second, institutional level of violence where the individual is exposed to violence at schools and their place of residence (Ward et al., 2016).  Gender-based violence stills remain high, and this hurts the society and the economy. Notably, about one in three women are victims of sexual violence, and this is mostly by an intimate partner. Factors such as humanitarian crises, which can include post-conflict situations can increase the vulnerability of women to violence compared to men. Marc (2018) asserts that in about 90% of the violence taking place, for instance, wars, the majority are women and children. Evidently, the effects of violence vary from region to region, and this depends on factors such as the gender and race of the individual.

Purpose Statement

The purpose of this research will be to determine whether there is a relationship that exists between the various forms of violence and depression in people based on their gender and ethnicity.

Research Questions

The long-term goal of the research will be to develop a detailed analysis of the relationship between violence and depression while considering other underlying social factors such as the gender and the race of the individual. Particularly, the study will have the following objectives:

  1. The research will explore the nature of violence among the Black population while at the same time addressing some of the current shortcomings in the present studies, for example, the perspective of the black men and children.
  2. The research will also explore the inherent connection between violence within homes and in the community and how this forms of violence ends up affecting the victim's mental health.
  3. The research will also explore the nature of relationships existing between the various partners involved in partner violence. The paper will even attempt to understand the perceptions of relationships through the various dimensions of race and gender.





Marc, A. (2018). CONFLICT AND VIOLENCE IN THE 21 ST CENTURY. Retrieved from https://www.un.org/pga/70/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2016/01/Conflict-and-violence-in-the-21st-century-Current-trends-as-observed-in-empirical-research-and-statistics-Mr.-Alexandre-Marc-Chief-Specialist-Fragility-Conflict-and-Violence-World-Bank-Group.pdf

Ribeiro, W., Andreoli, S., Ferri, C., Prince, M., & Mari, J. (2009). Exposição à violência e problemas de saúde mental em países em desenvolvimento: uma revisão da literatura. Revista Brasileira De Psiquiatria, 31(suppl 2), S49-S57. doi: 10.1590/s1516-44462009000600003

Ward, C., Flisher, A., Zissis, C., Muller, M., & Lombard, C. (2016). Exposure to violence and its relationship to psychopathology in adolescents. Retrieved from http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=