Adolescent violence is an important public health problem in the US, resulting in significant morbidity and mortality. Latinos are the fastest-growing racial/ethnic group of children in the US, and are disproportionately affected by youth violence. There is, however, little information on the risk and protective factors that influence Latino youth violence. The overall objective of this proposed NICHD Career Development Award research is to identify risk and protective factors for Latino youth violence perpetration. This will be accomplished through three specific aims, which are to: 1) Identify beliefs, attitudes, and norms that influence violence perpetration among Latino adolescents;2) Identify risk and protective factors in the family, peer, and community contexts that predict violence perpetration in a cohort of Latino youth;and 3) Validate and examine the relative contributions of individual, family, peer, and community factors to violence among Latino adolescents.
In Aim 1, focus groups of violent and non-violent Latino adolescents will be conducted to examine risk and protective factors for violence, violence prevention strategies, and components of potentially effective violence prevention interventions.
For Aim 2, a secondary data analysis of the National Survey of Adolescent Health (Add Health) will be conducted using multi-level modeling techniques to determine which contextual factors in adolescence are associated with violence perpetration approximately two years later. The findings from Aims 1 and 2 will be used in Aim 3 to design a survey that concurrently examines individual and contextual factors associated with youth violence, and to test the survey in a large sample of Latino adolescents. Findings from these three studies will provide the foundation for a future Latino youth violence prevention intervention that is culturally tailored, focuses on the major risk and protective factors for Latino youth violence, and is informed by Latino youth. This innovative approach uses multiple methods (qualitative, multi-level longitudinal quantitative, and a survey) to address a significant public health need for improving the knowledge base required to develop successful community-based interventions for Latino youth violence prevention. The proposed award is consistent with the component of the NICHD mission to ensure that all children have the chance to achieve their full potential for healthy and productive lives, free from disease or disability. The exceptional resources and institutional support at UT Southwestern, outstanding multi-disciplinary mentorship team, and the proposed career development activities, will allow the candidate to achieve her long-term goal of becoming an independent investigator and nationally recognized expert on community-based interventions effective in reducing and eliminating racial/ethnic disparities in youth violence.

Public Health Relevance

There is an epidemic of youth violence in the US, with 36% of adolescents involved in fighting and 18% in weapon-carrying, and Latinos are disproportionately affected by violence;because youth violence can result in serious injury and homicide, there is an urgent need to identify strategies that can lead to successful violence prevention interventions for Latino youth. The proposed research identifies risk and protective factors for Latino youth violence perpetration using focus groups with Latino youth, multi-level modeling of a longitudinal dataset, and a newly-designed survey administered to Latino youth. Achievement of the study aims has the potential to be a significant contribution to reducing racial/ethnic disparities in youth violence, as the proposed research studies could lead to the development of an effective youth violence prevention intervention for Latinos.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Type
Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award (K23)
Project #
7K23HD068401-04
Application #
8914181
Study Section
Developmental Biology Subcommittee (CHHD)
Program Officer
Maholmes, Valerie
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
4
Fiscal Year
2014
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
City
Torrance
State
CA
Country
United States
Zip Code
90502
Shetgiri, Rashmi (2013) Bullying and victimization among children. Adv Pediatr 60:33-51
Shetgiri, Rashmi; Lin, Hua; Flores, Glenn (2013) Trends in risk and protective factors for child bullying perpetration in the United States. Child Psychiatry Hum Dev 44:89-104