Online Program

A mediational analysis of Latino youth violence

Monday, November 4, 2013

Sean Cleary, PhD, MPH, Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, George Washington University School of Public Health & Health Services, Washington, DC
Mark Edberg, PhD, Department of Prevention and Community Health, George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services, Washington, DC
Elizabeth Andrade, DrPH, MPH, Department of Prevention and Community Health, George Washington University, Washington, DC
Background: The SAFER (Seguridad, Apoyo, Familia, Educacion, y Recursos) Latinos project was developed with community partners to effect change in four key domains that were hypothesized as mediating factors for youth violence: family cohesion; school-related barriers; community cohesion and alienation; and risk behaviors. Methods: Randomized cluster-sampling was used to obtain a representative community sample. Baseline youth (aged 12-17 years) survey sample data were used to test a path model of the relationship between family, school, and community measures, and youth violence. Results: Mediational analyses indicated that friends risk behavior, pro-fighting attitudes, subjects' tobacco and alcohol use, and familiarity with gangs were mediators of youth violence. The path model fit the data well (CFI = 0.97, RMSEA = .04). Acculturation had a positive direct effect on both fighting and victimization. Expectations for the future had an inverse direct effect on victimization. Discussion: Results strongly support the hypothesized social ecology model in which immigrant Latino youth, as they become acculturated, are more likely to be socialized via a peer-based ecology of risk because of the difficulties, instabilities, and conflicts in their household, school and social environments. Direct or peripheral gang involvement - for males and females - is tied to increased violence as well as victimization, substance use, and other risks including sexual risk. Additional competencies need to be fostered to promote positive youth development and existing assets within family and community need to be strengthened.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe the mediated social-ecological model of violent behaviors among immigrant Latino youth.

Keyword(s): Latino Health, Youth Violence

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to be an abstract author of this study because I was Co-PI of the CDC funded study (SAFER Latinos), I conducted the analyses and drafted the abstract, and I am currently co-director of the NIMHD-funded Collaborative Center on Latino Immigrant/Refugee Health Disparities at GWU.
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.