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097 Racial violence in neighborhoods and schools: the psycho-behavioral impact in adolescence
  1. Samantha Francois1,2,
  2. Katherine P Theall2,3,
  3. Amber Tucker3,4,
  4. Julia M Fleckman2,3,
  5. Stacy Drury2,5
  1. 1Tulane University School of Social Work, New Orleans, USA
  2. 2Tulane Violence Prevention Institute, New Orleans, USA
  3. 3Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, New Orleans, USA
  4. 4The Mary Amelia Center for Women’s Health Equity Research, New Orleans, USA
  5. 5Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, USA


Statement of Purpose This study examines the effect of exposure to racism-based violence in neighborhoods and schools on adolescents’ psychological wellbeing and behavioral outcomes, while also investigating the moderating influence of community engagement and positive racial identity development in adolescence.

Methods/Approach A cross-sectional survey design was conducted to measure youth self-reported neighborhood and school-based racial discrimination, community engagement, racial identity development, racism-based stress, and aggressive behaviors. The study sample included 13 to 18 year old adolescents recruited through a cluster randomized trial to test the impact of blighted property remediation in preventing youth and family violence in a southern U.S. city.

Results Study researchers hypothesize a direct effect of racism-based neighborhood and school violence on adolescent racism-based stress and aggressive behaviors. We also hypothesize that community engagement would mitigate the negative influence of racial violence experienced in the neighborhood and at school, and this mitigating effect would be present for adolescents for whom their racial identity holds greater significance. We will test these hypotheses with two separate hierarchical regression models, one for each psycho-behavioral outcome variable. We will fit a model with gender and age as control variables, main effects of neighborhood and school racial violence, and a two-way interaction between contextual racial violence and community engagement for adolescents with salient racial identities. We will test the significance of slopes for the interaction, if significant, using conditional moderator variables and post-hoc regression analyses to determine slope significance.

Conclusion We anticipate results will demonstrate the need for schools to focus on creating anti-racist learning environments and for increased investment in opportunities for adolescent community engagement, particularly for adolescents with salient racial group identities.

Significance The study adds to existing research on neighborhood and school violence by focusing on racism as a source of contextual violence in neighborhoods and schools.

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