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: 3.61). 06/2010; 46(6):600-2. DOI: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2009.11.213
Source: PubMed


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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    • "Rather, it is important to explore whether pathways between victimization and negative sequalae may potentially vary by ethnicity given that household compositions and other social factors often vary across ethnicities. Given that pathways to risk outcomes often vary by gender (Voisin & Neilands, 2010), it is also feasible that pathways from polyvictimization to youth multiple problem behaviors may vary by race/ethnicity given that minority and nonminority youth in the U.S. often live in different socioecological niches. For example, research has found that minority youth exposed to IPV demonstrated fewer externalizing behaviors compared to their white peers (Graham-Bermann & Hughes, 2003). "
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    ABSTRACT: School engagement has a powerful influence on youth development. Youth who fail in school are at significant risk for a host of subsequent psychosocial outcomes, including substance use, risky sexual behaviors, gang involvement, and increased contact with juvenile justice authorities. Although school engagement is an important determinant of key developmental outcomes, few studies have adequately considered how polyvictimization may not only compromise school engagement but also negatively impact psychological functioning, lead to negative peer affiliations with gangs, thereby subsequently increasing the risk for drug use and subsequent juvenile justice involvement. In addition, no studies have considered how key factors such as age, gender, race/ethnicity and parenting styles may moderate those risk relationships. Based on the existing empirical literature and several unifying theories, we present a conceptual model that documents pathways from polyvictimization to multiple youth problem behaviors, with school engagement as a key mediator. This review is intended to help guide future research in these areas. We conclude with recommendations for school-based interventions and future research based on this innovative model.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2013 · International Journal of Higher Education
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    • "We further aimed to assess multivariate associations of gender and mental health in violence-affected youth aged between 11 and 17. Specifically, we were interested in determining whether reverse associations of gender and mental health would occur in a representative sample, something that had occasionally been observed in prior non-normative studies [5,44,45]. Finally, we aimed to explore the presence of cumulative mental health problems among violence-affected youth. "
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    ABSTRACT: Research examining mental health in violence-affected youth in representative samples is rare. Using data from the nationally representative German Health Interview and Examination Survey for Children and Adolescents (KiGGS) this study reports on gender-specific prevalence rates and associations of a broad range of internalizing and externalizing mental health problems: emotional problems, conduct problems, ADHD, disordered eating, somatic pain and substance use in youth variously affected by violence. While internalizing is generally more common in girls and externalizing in boys, observations of prior non-normative studies suggest reverse associations once an individual is affected by violence. The occurrence of such "gender cross-over effects" is therefore examined in a representative sample. The sample consisted of 6,813 adolescents aged 11 to 17 from the German Health Interview and Examination Survey for Children and Adolescents (KiGGS): Applying multivariate logistic regression analyses, associations between each type of violence history and mental health indicator were determined for perpetrators, victims, and perpetrating victims of youth violence. Moderating effects of gender were examined by using product term interaction. Victim status was associated primarily with internalizing problems, while perpetrators were more prone to externalizing problems. Perpetrating victims stood out with respect to the number and strength of risk associations with all investigated mental health indicators. However, the risk profiles of all violence-affected youth included both internalizing and externalizing mental health problems. Gender cross-over effects were found for girls and boys: despite lower overall prevalence, girls affected by violence were at far higher risk for conduct problems and illicit drug use; by contrast, somatic pain, although generally lower in males, was positively associated with perpetrator status and perpetrating victim status in boys. All violence-affected youth exhibited significantly higher rates of cumulative mental health problems. The results highlight the importance of violence for the mental health of youth. They reveal a particular vulnerability as a function of gender. Implications for policy making, clinical practice and research are discussed.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2013 · BMC Public Health
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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.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2010 · Journal of Interpersonal Violence
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