Table of Contents
Urban Studies Research
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 867129, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2011/867129
Research Article

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

1Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation, Children's National Medical Center, Room 655, 111 Michigan Ave NW, Washington DC 20010, USA
2Center for Community and Clinical Research, Children's National Medical Center, 6th Floor Research, 111 Michigan Ave NW, Washington DC 20010, USA
3Center for Community and Clinical Research, Children's National Medical Center, Room 652, 111 Michigan Ave NW, Washington DC 20010, USA

Received 1 July 2010; Revised 23 December 2010; Accepted 17 January 2011

Academic Editor: David Wong

Copyright © 2011 Cynthia R. Ronzio et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

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.