150989 Fighting Behavior among early adolescent African Americans: What are the personal and environmental factors?

Tuesday, November 6, 2007: 8:30 AM

Vanya Jones, PhD, MPH , School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
Tina L. Cheng, MD, MPH , School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
Denise L. Haynie, PhD, MPH , National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Prevention Research Branch, Bethesda, MD
Bruce G. Simons-Morton, EdD, MPH , National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Prevention Research Branch, Bethesda, MD
Andrea C. Gielen, ScD, ScM , Health, Behavior & Society, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
It has been postulated that violence in adulthood is a continuation or a progression of violence earlier in life. Although research discussing the pathways for violence emanates from a variety of disciplines, it is agreed that early risk factors exist and should be considered. This paper focuses on fighting among early adolescent African Americans who live in low income urban neighborhoods. Regression analyses were employed to determine the odds of fighting based on the Social Cognitive Theory factors of the individual and their social environment.

The results of this exploratory study suggests the individual factor of substance use was associated with fighting (OR 2.35, p<.05). These analyses also show a relationship between fighting and the social environmental factors of peers and parents. As the number of peers who fight increased, fighting also increased (0 Friends vs. 3-4 Friends-OR 4.31; 0 Friends vs. 5 Friends- OR 5.15, p<.01). In addition, youth who believed their parent may support their fighting were more likely to fight (low compared to high OR 1.77, p<.05). There was also an interaction between the individual and environmental factors of gender and mentorship. When comparing those who reported low mentorship, females were more likely than males to fight (OR 5.54, p <0.01).

In conclusion, this study indicates that modifiable personal and environmental factors are associated with early adolescent fighting. This research suggests that the Social Cognitive Theory is useful in guiding research to reduce violence among populations at an increased risk of engaging in violence.

Learning Objectives:
After participating in this session on early adolescent fighting and the Social Cognitive Theory, participants (learner) will be able to: 1. Identify modifiable factors that are associated with early adolescent fighting. 2. Articulate the importance of the social environment when examining early adolescent fighting behavior. 3. Articulate the how Social Cognitive Theory Constructs relates to youth fighting.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.