Each year, thousands of American children are exposed to violence in their homes and communities. Although research in multiple fields has shown this violence to have severe and negative consequences for children's self-regulation, this work lacks a unified theoretical orientation that sufficiently captures the complexity of these relationships. Using a bioecological systems framework, the present article presents a multidimensional model of the relationship between children's exposure to violence and their self-regulatory development. Specifically, this model considers: (a) different dimensions of exposure (including chronicity, pervasiveness, and proximity); (b) child- and family-level mediating mechanisms (including biological stress-response systems and parenting); (c) the transactional, multidirectional nature of these relationships; and (d) the ways in which individual and environmental factors may contribute to multifinality. Finally, the present article also proposes a number of methodological and conceptual suggestions for strengthening future research in the area of violence, self-regulation, and psychosocial risk.

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