Exploring Local Perceptions of and Responses to Urban Youth Violence

Michael A. Yonas, Patricia O'campo, Jessica G. Burke, Andrea C. Gielen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objective: Despite widespread prevention efforts, youth violence persists in many urban communities. This investigation explores the unique perspectives and local capacities to address urban youth violence. Method: Qualitative in-depth interviews were conducted with prominent neighborhood individuals (PNIs) from low-wealth neighborhoods that varied by risk for youth violence. Findings: Findings reveal examples of increased levels of social action in the designated low risk for youth violence neighborhoods. Similar activities were also present, but to a lesser extent, within the high-risk neighborhoods. Results illustrate how PNIs formally and informally share information and take action to address youth violence. Conclusion: PNIs are an often-overlooked resource in gaining local insight for addressing health issues, such as youth violence. The efforts identified exhibit expertise and culturally sensitive opportunities for working together to address youth violence. Understanding such dynamics is essential for informing the development of locally endorsed violence-prevention interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)62-70
Number of pages9
JournalHealth promotion practice
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • community capacity
  • participatory research
  • prevention
  • social dynamics
  • violence
  • youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Nursing (miscellaneous)


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