152956 Psychological Consequences to Adolescents' Exposure to Gang Violence

Wednesday, November 7, 2007: 8:45 AM

Sarah E. Kelly, RN, PhD , School of Nursing, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC
Debra Anderson, RN, PhD , College of Nursing, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
Ann Peden, DSN, ARNP-CS , College of Nursing, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
Background/Significance: Gang violence is an escalating public health problem in society. In 2000, the National Youth Gang Center estimated that there were 772,500 active gang members in the United States. Further, the report stated that a majority of cities with a population higher than 250,000 and cities with a population between 100,000 and 250,000 had an active gang presence and a high level of gang-related homicides. Society has seen a growth of violent crimes against adolescents in the recent years. Adolescents between the ages of 12-17 are twice as likely as adults to be victims of violence crimes. Violence against adolescents continues to grow and can have negative influence on their development. Purpose: The purposes of this study are to: examine the psychological consequences to adolescents' exposure to gang violence in their neighborhood and compare the psychological consequences between adolescents who have no direct relationship to a gang member with adolescents who have a direct relationship to a gang member. Method: This descriptive comparison pilot study will be conducted through the use of interviews. A convenience sample of adolescents (n= 6) from community centers will be asked to participate. Each subject will be asked 5 open ended questions related to their experiences with gang violence. Content analysis will be used to analyze the data. Results: Data collection will be completed by April. Conclusions: Adolescents' experiences with gang violence will support the need for focused research on the impact it has on their psychological and social development.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the experiences of adolescents who were exposed to gang violence. 2. Identify the different experiences between adolescents who do not have a relationship with a gang member and adolescents who do have a relationship with a gang member.

Keywords: Adolescents, Violence

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.