The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

4281.0: Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - Board 10

Abstract #65660

Sociocultural influences and school violence among youth in Durban, South Africa

Joan C. Wright, BS, MPH, Combined Program in Education and Psychology, University of Michigan, 610 East University, 1400J School of Education Building, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, (734) 615-8887,, Marc Zimmerman, PhD, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, 1420 Washington Heights, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, and Colin Collett van Rooyen, PhD, CRISP: Research, Facilitation & Training, 2 Brentley, 100 Bulwer Rd., Durban 4001, South Africa.

South Africa's recent history of Apartheid has left a legacy of risk factors for youth violence in economic and social inequalities, civil unrest, poverty, and structural racism. Youth violence is a significant problem in South African schools, but research regarding risk and protective factors related to violence among high-school aged South African youth is very limited. Most of the research on youth violence in South Africa focuses on political violence, violent crimes, and domestic violence. Hence, a need to understand the nature of school violence in terms of risk and protective factors is vital to prevention and future research efforts. This study uses resiliency theory to guide a study of discrimination, racial/ethnic identity and violent behavior among 800 high school South African youth in Durban and rural areas of the Kwazulu Natal province in South Africa. We examine the protective (moderating) effects of racial/ethnic identity on the relationship between perceptions of racial discrimination and violent behavior. We also control for the effects of socioeconomic variables. Questionnaires were self-administered, and youth completed the English and Zulu questionnaire in their classrooms. Multiple regression analysis examines the interaction (moderating) effects of racial identity on the risk of discrimination for predicting violent behavior. Results and implications for resiliency theory, prevention, and future research are discussed.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Public Health Research, Youth Violence

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

International Health Student Poster Session

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA