Experiences of racial discrimination & relation to violence perpetration and gang involvement among a sample of urban African American men

Elizabeth Reed, J G Silverman, J R Ickovics, J Gupta, S L Welles, M C Santana, A Raj
Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health 2010, 12 (3): 319-26

OBJECTIVE: To examine racial discrimination and its relation to violence involvement among a sample of urban African American men.

METHODS: Participants of this cross-sectional study were African American men (N = 703) between the ages of 18 and 65 years, recruited from four urban community health centers and two hospital-based clinics within an urban center in the Northeast. Multivariate logistic regression models were used to assess the relation of reported racial discrimination to recent perpetration of intimate partner violence (IPV), street violence involvement, and gang involvement. Racial discrimination was measured via 7 items assessing everyday and lifetime experiences of racial discrimination.

RESULTS: In logistic regression models adjusted for age and homelessness, men reporting high levels of discrimination (scores above the sample median) were significantly more likely to report IPV perpetration (Adjusted Odds Ratio (AOR) = 1.9; 95% Confidence Interval (CI): 1.2-2.9) and street violence involvement (AOR = 1.5; 95% CI: 1.1-2.2) as compared to men reporting lower levels of discrimination. No relation was found between experiencing discrimination and gang involvement.

CONCLUSIONS: Findings showcase the potential relevance of racial discrimination to efforts focused on reducing racial disparities related to violence.

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