Collective efficacy and weapon carrying in Boston neighborhoods: A multilevel study
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
: 3:18 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Background Youth violence is a significant public health problem. In 2011 the Youth Risk Behavior Survey by the CDC estimated 32.5% of youth in the U.S. fought and 3.9% were injured in a fight in the past year, and 16.6% carried a weapon at least one day in the 30 days prior to the survey. Research has shown that youth violence occurs in multiple contexts, e.g. home, school, neighborhoods. Evidence is accumulating that neighborhood-level collective efficacy, or the perception that one's community has trust and the ability to work together on issues, may be protective against violence. Methods This study examined associations between neighborhood-level collective efficacy and other protective factors, and lower prevalence of weapon carrying (knives and firearms) by individual youth. Data come from the 2008 Boston Youth Survey (N=1878), conducted with students in public high schools grades 9-12, randomly selected by classroom; and the 2008 Boston Neighborhood Survey (N=1710) of randomly selected adults. Surveys were geo-coded for multi-level analyses. Meaningful clusters of Census tracts (N=38) were identified using qualitative/quantitative methods. Estimates from the U.S. Census were used to control for neighborhood-level structural factors. Results Twelve months prior to the survey, 31% of this diverse, representative sample carried knives, and 5.5% carried guns. Among boys, collective efficacy was significantly associated with less knife and gun carrying, especially its component social cohesion. Multi-level, multivariate results will be presented and intervention implications discussed. Conclusions Neighborhood resources such as collective efficacy have potentially protective effects on youth violence and thus intervention implications.
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences
Describe the magnitude of weapon carrying among a representative sample of diverse youth in an urban environment
Describe the multilevel association between neighborhood collective efficacy and adolescent weapon carrying
Discuss intervention implications of these results for mobilizing collective efficacy as a violence prevention strategy
Keyword(s): Violence Prevention, Community Assets
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator of multiple federally funded grants focusing on the epidemiology of violence. I have published studies on the role of collective efficacy and other neighborhood resources on outcomes including firearm carrying, physical activity, child maltreatment, and aggression and delinquency. Together with co-authors on this abstract, we designed and carried out multiple waves of data collection that provided the data for this study.
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.