An ecological path model of use of violence among African American adolescents
This cross-sectional study used an ecological framework to understand the risk and protective factors associated with use of violence among African American adolescents ages 12–17 years (N = 2,328). Using data from the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the authors study identified different direct paths in predicting use of violence among African American adolescents. The authors then computed a multigroup analysis to determine whether significant gender differences exist in use of violence. Path analysis results suggest micro, meso, and macro factors significantly predicted violence use. The strongest predictor of use of violence among African American youth was parental conflicts. The multigroup analysis suggests that the pathways to use of violence significantly differ between African American boys and girls. Among African American boys, the strongest predictor of increased use of violence was parental conflicts; among African American girls, it was negative peer influence. Findings suggest that all 3 ecological domains and gender differences should be accounted for when developing prevention or intervention services that target use of violence among young African Americans.