Online Program

Exploration of Female Parents' Attitudes, Beliefs and Perceptions about Youth Gun Crimes

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Karen Sylva-Givens, BA, MA, PHD(Public Health), Probation, Cook County Juvinile Court, Markham, IL
Youth gun crime is an important public health issue that affects many communities in the United States. Since 2012, there were over 30,000 gun-related deaths in the United States. Gun violence remains the leading cause of death for young people ages 15–24. This phenomenological qualitative study examined female parents’ attitudes, beliefs, and perceptions of the influences and causes of youth gun crimes. The purposive sample drew from 10 single female parents of youth ages 14-17 charged with gun crimes. Sutherland’s differential association theory provided the theoretical framework for the study. The mothers participated in a series of in-depth face to face interviews designed to answer the research question about their attitudes, beliefs and perceptions of the phenomenon of youth gun crimes. Results of the study indicated parents were attempting to convey the correct message to their children to avoid gun violence. This message did not resonate due to environmental peer influence. One finding was the perception that peer influence and environmental factors favorable to gun violence hampered the impact of single female parents in getting the message to youths to avoid youth gun violence. The study concluded that to curtail gun violence there needs to be collaboration amongst community members. In addition mothers needed to be armed with resources that address the issues of peer pressure and community violence. The results of the study can impact social change by informing parents to be more empowered to seek resources to combat peer pressure and gun crimes

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Other professions or practice related to public health
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe how sending the correct message by parents can influence youth involvement in gun crimes

Keyword(s): Youth Violence

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a PHD candidate and will complete my defense in 2 weeks. I have worked in the Juvenile Justice field for almost 30 years and have worked extensively with families involved with youth gun crimes.
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.