240049 Predictors and mediators of violence among urban youth and young adults

Monday, October 31, 2011: 8:50 AM

Gary J. Burkholder, PhD , Senior Research Scholar, Center for Research Support, Walden University, Minneapolis, MN
Jean Schensul, PhD , Institute for Community Research, Hartford, CT
Urban youth experience many different forms of violence in their homes, neighborhoods, schools, in unsafe public social spaces, and in the media. Apart from the immediate physical effects of violence on victims, violent behaviors and chronic exposure to violence affect both physical and mental health, with known effects on asthma, early onset of cardiovascular problems, depression and anxiety. We used a multilevel approach to examine the contextual, interpersonal and psychosocial predictors of violence as exposure, perpetration and victimization. We draw on survey data collected from 322 African American and Latino males, recruited during a NIDA funded study of club drug use, using RDS sampling. The study was conducted in the capital city of a small New England state characterized by an undermined economic infrastructure, neighborhood disinvestment, and elevated high school dropout rates. Correlation analyses demonstrate significant relationships among the three measures of violence and ecological variables that include individual attitude, perceived risk, religiosity, and ethnic identity factors; substance use and belief patterns among peers and school friends; family dynamic variables; mental and physical health concerns; drug use; and local and larger community engagement factors. Multiple regression models will be presented that show the unique variance added by each of the ecological variables describing an epidemiology of violence. Results will be interpreted by referring to structural dimensions of violence as expressed and documented ethnographically in the social, political and economic context of the study.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Program planning
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify the importance of contextual factors in predicting exposure to violence, perpetration and victimization among African American and Latino male adolescents and young adults. 2. Understand how broader structural factors create an environment in which violence is endemic. 3. Discuss how exposure to and experience of violence through perpetration and victimization can be minimized through structural changes. 4. Evaluate the unique variance explained by ecological variables in the dependent variables (the three measures of violence).

Keywords: Youth Violence, Adolescent Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: PhD in Experimental Psychology; publications and experience in youth and young Adult ATOD use; expertise in quantitative/qualitative epidemiology methods
Any relevant financial relationships? No

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.