Community Violence and Health Risk Factors Among Adolescents on Chicago's Southside: Does Gender Matter?

School of Social Service Administration, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 60637, USA.
Journal of Adolescent Health (Impact Factor: 2.75). 06/2010; 46(6):600-2. DOI: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2009.11.213
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT We assessed community violence, school engagement, negative peer influences, mental health problems, and human immunodeficiency virus risk among 563 black adolescents. Boys reported higher rates of community violence exposures and gang involvement, while girls reported higher mental health distress. In the presence of multiple risk factors, negative peer norms were the strongest correlate of human immunodeficiency virus risk behaviors.

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    ABSTRACT: This study explores community violence exposures among African American adolescents and whether coping strategies were gendered. In-depth interviews are conducted with a sample of 32 African American high school students. Data are analyzed using a thematic analysis. The primary forms of violence exposures are physical attacks, fighting, and incidents involving police, gun violence, and murders. Boys report more exposure to violence as victims and witnesses, whereas girls are more likely to hear about violent acts. Coping styles range from "getting through," which included both an acceptance of community conditions; "getting along," which included self-defense techniques; "getting away," which included avoidance coping strategies; and "getting back," which consisted of confrontational coping strategies. Boys report more confrontational coping styles than are girls, who utilized more avoidance approaches. Widespread school-based interventions are warranted, given the high prevalence of community violence exposure among these youth and may provide important supports for coping against such trauma.
    Journal of Interpersonal Violence 10/2010; 26(12):2483-98. DOI:10.1177/0886260510383029 · 1.64 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A growing body of research documents that various forms of violence exposures are interrelated. This paper presents a conceptual model, which accounts for the relationship between youth witnessing intimate partner violence (IPV) at home and their subsequent engagement in bullying behaviors and victimization by peers. A comprehensive search of major databases was conducted within a 12-year period (1999–2011). Based on this review, we provide empirical evidence, which documents that youth who witness IPV are at increased risk for bullying behaviors and peer victimization. Next, we posit a mediational model, which suggests that the relationship between witnessing IPV and bullying behavior and peer victimization is mediated by psychological problem behaviors, lower school success, and problematic peer interactions. We also explore potential moderating factors that may exacerbate or buffer the effects of witnessing IPV, such as age, gender, race/ethnicity, parenting practices, and peer relationships. This overall conceptual model should be empirically tested and has important implications for guiding future research on the relationship between IPV and bullying behaviors and victimization among youth.
    Educational Psychology Review 01/2012; 24(4):479-498. DOI:10.1007/s10648-012-9197-8 · 2.40 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: This study examined the relationship between violence exposure and sexual risk-taking among low-income, urban African American adolescent girls, considering overlap among different types and characteristics of violence. Method: African American adolescent girls were originally recruited from outpatient mental health clinics serving urban, mostly low socioeconomic status communities in Chicago, Illinois, as part of a 2-year longitudinal investigation of HIV-risk behavior. A subsequent follow-up was completed to assess lifetime history of trauma and violence exposure. The current study (N = 177) included violence exposure and sexual risk behavior reported at the most recent interview (age range: 14–22 years). Multiple regression was used to examine combined and unique contributions of different types, ages, settings, and perpetrators or victims of violence to variance in sexual risk. Results: More extensive violence exposure and cumulative exposure to different kinds of violence were associated with overall unsafe sex, more partners, and inconsistent condom use. The most significant unique predictors, accounting for overlap among different forms of violence, were physical victimization, adolescent exposure, neighborhood violence, and violence involving dating partners. Conclusion: These findings put sexual risk in the context of broad traumatic experiences, and they suggest that the type and characteristics of violence exposure matter in terms of sexual health outcomes. Violence exposure should be addressed in efforts to reduce sexually transmitted infections among low-income, urban African American girls. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
    Psychology of Violence 03/2012; 2(2):194-207. DOI:10.1037/a0027265 · 1.83 Impact Factor


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