The Predictive Influence of Family and Neighborhood Assets on Fighting and Weapon Carrying from Mid- to Late Adolescence
ABSTRACT Using a developmental, social-ecological approach to understand the etiology of health-risk behavior and inform primary prevention efforts, we assess the predictive effects of family and neighborhood social processes on youth physical fighting and weapon carrying. Specifically, we focus on relationships among youth and their parents, family communication, parental monitoring, as well as sense of community and neighborhood informal social control, support, concerns, and disorder. This study advances knowledge through its investigation of family and neighborhood structural factors and social processes together, employment of longitudinal models that estimate effects over adolescent development, and use of self-report and observational measures. Data from 1,093 youth/parent pairs were analyzed from the Youth Assets Study using a Generalized Estimating Equation approach; family and neighborhood assets and risks were analyzed as time varying and lagged. Similar family assets affected physical fighting and weapon carrying, whereas different neighborhood social processes influenced the two forms of youth violence. Study findings have implications for the primary prevention of youth violence, including the use of family-based approaches that build relationships and parental monitoring skills and community-level change approaches that promote informal social control and reduce neighborhood concerns about safety.
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ABSTRACT: For adolescents, illicit drug use remains a significant public health problem. This study explored prospectively the differential effects of 17 youth assets and 5 environmental factors on drug use in adolescent males and females (Youth Asset Study – a 5-wave longitudinal study of 1117 youth/parent pairs). Baseline analyses included 1093 youth (53% female). Mean age was 14.3 years (SD = 1.6) and the youth were 40% Non-Hispanic White, 28% Hispanic, 24% Non-Hispanic Black, and 9% Non-Hispanic other. Analyses revealed that 16 assets for males and 15 for females as well as the total asset score were prospectively associated with no drug use. No environmental factors were prospectively associated with any drug use for males, and for a subset of females, only Neighborhood Support was significant. This study confirms and extends previous work regarding youth drug use by recognizing the importance of the protective effect of assets for both males and females.Journal of Adolescence 08/2014; 37(6):827–837. DOI:10.1016/j.adolescence.2014.05.006 · 2.05 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The number of adolescents living with HIV in Zambia is increasing, yet little is known about their experiences in a social context. Such knowledge could enable HIV programs to better respond to their needs. This qualitative study examined the experiences of adolescents living with HIV in Kitwe, Kalomo and Lusaka in Zambia. In-depth interviews were conducted with adolescents aged 10–19 living with HIV (n = 58) and their health care providers (n = 14). In addition, 13 focus group sessions were conducted with adolescents living with HIV (n = 53), health care providers (n = 24) and parents (n = 21). Thematic analysis was used to draw out the social-ecological determinants of adolescents’ experiences. Results showed that a range of factors located at the individual, family and peer, community and structural levels determine the experiences of adolescents living with HIV. At the individual level, resilience and internalized stigma were found to shape adolescents’ perception of an HIV diagnosis, and their ability to maintain a positive outlook and sustain relationships. Family and peers supported adolescents to adjust to new drug-taking routines, but these people occasionally disclosed adolescents’ HIV status inappropriately. At the community level, stigma and discrimination in schools were found to negatively influence adolescents’ experiences, suggesting that approaches to normalize HIV in schools are needed. The presence of non-governmental organizations provided an entry point for the provision of broad-based livelihood, nutritional and psychosocial services for adolescents living with HIV at the community level. At the structural level, poor flexibility of clinic opening hours, staff shortages and a lack of health policies related to adolescents living with HIV presented ongoing limitations to adolescents’ ability to access relevant services. In conclusion, adolescents’ experiences of living with HIV are influenced by factors located within and beyond adolescents themselves. Understanding these contextual factors, and adopting interventions that accentuate positive experiences while mitigating negative ones, could strengthen the provision of services tailored to the needs and circumstances of adolescents living with HIV in Zambia.Children and Youth Services Review 10/2014; 45. DOI:10.1016/j.childyouth.2014.03.033 · 1.27 Impact Factor