251259 Racial differences in youth violence associated with youth assets, demographics, and neighborhood characteristics: The youth asset study (YAS)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011: 8:30 AM

Cheryl Aspy, PhD , College of Medicine, Oklahoma University Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK
Sara Vesely, PhD , Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK
Roy Oman, PhD , College of Public Health, Oklahoma University Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK
Eleni Tolma, MPH, PhD , College of Public Health, Oklahoma University Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK
Lindsay Boeckman, MS , Biostatistics and Epidemiology, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK
In 2007, murder claimed 5,764 youth; 32% of youth reported physical fighting in the past 12 months, a significant disruption to youth education. The YAS, a 5 wave longitudinal study followed 1117 youth/parent pairs to determine the impact of youth assets, demographics, and community concerns on youth risk behaviors, including violence. These analyses included 1001 youth: 53% female; 26% Black, 31% Hispanic, and 43% White; 50% with income <$5,000; and 69% in two-parent families. Mean age (SD) was Black 14.7 (1.6), Hispanic 14.1 (1.5), and White 14.4 (1.6). Seventeen assets were summed and divided at the median to form a high vs low asset variable. Assets at Waves 1-4 and Wave 1 neighborhood factors were used to predict outcomes at Waves 25 while controlling for gender, family structure, parental income and education, crowded house, federal poverty level, age, and wealth. No weapon-carrying in the past 30 days was related to a high asset level for all racial groups; however, for Blacks having better neighborhood conditions and fewer neighborhood services concerns were related to weapon-carrying. Fewer neighborhood concerns, both services and crime/safety, were significantly protective only for Whites. For no physical fighting, high assets were significant only for Whites and Hispanics and neighborhood concerns were not significantly related to outcomes. Conclusions: A high number of assets was protective against weapon-carrying for all races while the relationship with physical fighting was significant only for Whites and Hispanics. Fewer neighborhood concerns were protective for youth weapon-carrying, but not physical fighting.

Learning Areas:
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe variables potentially related to resistance to youth violence including youth assets, neighborhood characteristics, youth demographics, and family SES. 2. Understand the relationships between youth assets, weapon carrying, and physical fighting for three racial groups.

Keywords: Adolescent Health, Violence

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have over 20 years experience as a behavioral science researcher and have worked on this project over 10 years.
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.