Urban youth violence

Do definitions and reasons for violence vary by gender?

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This study explored how young boys and girls living in low income urban neighborhoods defined and described reasons associated with youth violence. Five focus groups were conducted with 29 youth between the ages of 8 and 12 recruited from four selected study neighborhoods. Participants were asked to describe youth violence. Appropriate probes were used to explore similarities and differences by gender with regard to the reasons for violence. Definitions of youth violence were consistent across participants and included verbal threats, physical contact, and often the use of a weapon. Several common reasons for violence were found among both boys and girls; romantic relationships, respect, idle time, gangs/cliques, and witnessing violence. Reasons for violence unique to boys include fighting about issues related to money and illicit drugs. Gossip was identified as a reason specific to why girls engage in violence. Youth violence was perceived as a common problem impacting the lives of the boys and girls in this study. Although many of the reasons identified for violence are similar among boys and girls, select gender differences do exist. Future research and prevention efforts to address youth violence should engage young people in efforts to understand and address this important public health topic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)543-551
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Urban Health
Volume82
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2005

Fingerprint

Violence
violence
gender
Weapons
Street Drugs
Focus Groups
weapon
gender-specific factors
respect
money
low income
Public Health
public health
contact
threat
drug

Keywords

  • Gender
  • Urban
  • Violence
  • Youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Urban youth violence : Do definitions and reasons for violence vary by gender? / Yonas, Michael A.; O'Campo, Patricia; Burke, Jessica G.; Peak, Geri; Gielen, Andrea.

In: Journal of Urban Health, Vol. 82, No. 4, 12.2005, p. 543-551.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Yonas, Michael A. ; O'Campo, Patricia ; Burke, Jessica G. ; Peak, Geri ; Gielen, Andrea. / Urban youth violence : Do definitions and reasons for violence vary by gender?. In: Journal of Urban Health. 2005 ; Vol. 82, No. 4. pp. 543-551.
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