The Structure of Witnessed Community Violence amongst Urban African American Mothers: Latent Class Analysis of a Community Sample

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The Structure of Witnessed Community Violence amongst Urban African American Mothers: Latent Class Analysis of a Community Sample

Category: Behavior, Women|Journal: Urban Studies Research (full text)|Author: C Ronzio, J Wang, S Mitchell|Year: 2011

The prevalence of witnessed community violence (WCV) amongst urban populations in the USA is striking. WCV can be harmful to one’s psychological health, and for mothers, the consequences may be more far-reaching as their mental health affects parenting and child development. This study used telephone interviews (n = 209) to explore the patterns and covariates of WCV amongst a sample of urban, African American mothers of infants. Mothers reported whether they had witnessed 11 different forms of violence in their current neighborhoods. A latent class analysis revealed two distinct groups of mothers, those with higher versus lower-exposure to WCV. Mothers in the higher-exposure group were more likely to be low-income, to have a high school education or less, and to have higher anxiety scores than those in the lower-exposure group. Depression was not associated with higher exposure to WCV. Distinguishing between higher- and lower-exposure samples can inform the development of targeted prevention and intervention strategies for metropolitan areas.

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