Original article| Volume 14, ISSUE 3, P214-219, May 1993

Exposure to violence among inner-city youth

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      Interpersonal violence is a major cause of morbidity and mortality among adolescents and young adults. In this study, 246 inner city, predominantly black youth (ages 14–23 years) were surveyed regarding their exposure to, and participation in, violent acts. An in-depth psychological interview was also completed. A total of 44% reported they could access a gun within one day, 42% have seen someone shot or knifed, and 22% have seen someone killed. In the preceding 3 months, 18% reported carrying a gun, and 32% had been in a physical fight; 34 subjects were rated by the psychologists as at high risk for involvement in violent acts. Those subjects were more likely to be of lower socioeconomic status (p < 0.01) and to have been physically abused (p < 0.001) but no more likely to be a witness to violent events. Inner-city youth are frequently exposed to violence. Those at risk for perpetration of violence were more likely to be at high risk for most other health-risk behaviors.


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