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[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Exposure to community violence: Its impact on health behaviors and coping responses among low-income Black women

L. Shakiyla Smith, MPH, CHES, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, 1518 Clifton Road, Atlanta, GA 30322, 404-588-1681, shakiylasmith@yahoo.com

Violence is a significant threat to Black women’s health. Not only do Black women experience higher rates of violent victimization than White women, but they are also more likely to experience the loss of a significant other due to violence (Jenkins, 2002). Furthermore, the high rates of violence in many Black communities suggest that while not all Black women are themselves victims of violence, many are chronically exposed to it and live under the constant threat of it. As such, explorations of the environmental determinants of health for low-income Black women are incomplete without a consideration of the impact of violence. Currently, there is little knowledge regarding the impact of community violence on the physical and psychological functioning of adult Black women. Yet, there is evidence to suggest that exposure to community violence has a negative impact on Black women’s psychological functioning and health promotion behaviors.

Using data from 14 in-depth interviews with low-income, Black women residing in high-crime neighborhoods around Metro Atlanta, this presentation will explore the relationship between low-income Black women’s exposure to community violence and their health behaviors, and also address how Black women cope with the violence that surrounds them. Findings have important implications for the development of effective public health interventions that seek to build community capacity to address issues of violence, as well as other health concerns.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Violence, Community Health

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.

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Strong Women, Good Health

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA