Neighborhood-level factors and youth violence: Giving voice to the perceptions of prominent neighborhood individuals

Michael A. Yonas, Patricia O'Campo, Jessica G. Burke, Andrea C. Gielen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Youth violence is a significant public health problem. Although the relationship between neighborhood-level factors and urban youth violence is recognized, the specific mechanisms of this relationship are often unclear. Prominent neighborhood individuals were identified within four select low-income urban neighborhoods in Baltimore City. In-depth interviews were conducted to explore these individuals' perceptions of the relationship between social and structural neighborhood-level factors and urban youth violence. Employment opportunities, local businesses, trash management, vacant housing, and street lighting were perceived as important neighborhood factors influencing young people's experiences. The relationship between these neighborhood characteristics and the local illicit drug market and youth violence is highlighted. Results provide an enhanced understanding of the importance of using a participatory-based research approach and the mechanisms of the relationship between neighborhood-level factors and youth violence. Both are critical components in designing and implementing multilevel youth violence prevention efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)669-685
Number of pages17
JournalHealth Education and Behavior
Volume34
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2007

Keywords

  • Neighborhood factors
  • Participatory research
  • Urban
  • Violence
  • Youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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