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Keywords:

  • community;
  • riot;
  • mood;
  • behavior;
  • ESM

Abstract

This prospective investigation applied the Experience Sampling Method to examine the mood and behavioral responses of individuals facing the risk of community violence (in anticipation of the second Rodney King verdicts). Threatened participants experienced more negative affect and were less stable in behavioral involvement than individuals not under threat. Threatened participants also avoided social contact except for well-known individuals, and were more likely to be traveling than nonthreatened participants. Social contact with family or close friends and being at home (one's own home or the home of familiar individuals) were associated with large reductions in negative affect for those at risk for urban violence. The findings are discussed in terms of risk factors for trauma following community-wide stressors.