Journal of Community Health

, Volume 34, Issue 4, pp 328–335 | Cite as

Associations Between Perceptions and Involvement in Neighborhood Violence and Intimate Partner Violence Perpetration Among Urban, African American Men

  • Elizabeth Reed
  • Jay G. Silverman
  • Seth L. Welles
  • Maria Christina Santana
  • Stacey A. Missmer
  • Anita Raj
Original Paper


Violence disproportionately affects African American men and their communities. Research is needed to inform programming efforts to reduce racial/ethnic disparities in violence exposure, involvement, and victimization. The current study examined involvement in and perceptions of neighborhood violence and relation to perpetration of intimate partner violence (IPV) among a sample of urban, African American men. Participants of this cross-sectional study were sexually active African American men (n = 703) between the ages of 18 and 65 years, recruited from urban community health centers. Age-adjusted logistic regression models were used to assess associations between neighborhood violence variables and perpetration of IPV. In age-adjusted logistic regression models, involvement with street violence in the previous 6 months (Odds Ratio (OR) = 3.0; 95% Confidence Interval (CI): 1.9–4.6), ever being involved with gangs (OR = 2.0; 95% CI: 1.3–3.2), and perceptions/beliefs that violence occurs in one’s neighborhood (ORs = 2.0–3.1) were found to be significantly associated with IPV perpetration. Findings demonstrate that involvement in neighborhood violence as well as perceptions/beliefs that violence occurs in one’s neighborhood are associated with increased likelihood of IPV perpetration among urban, African American men. While socioeconomics and substance use contribute to high rates of these forms of violence, the relation between these forms of violence and perpetration of IPV was significant beyond the influences of these factors. Findings suggest that future violence prevention and treatment efforts will be most successful by addressing multiple forms of violence.


Domestic violence Intimate partner violence Neighborhood violence 



This Project funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Grant # CCU123364). We would like to acknowledge CDC Project Officers Stephen Flores and Lisa Fitzpatrick as well as Dr. Barbara Gottlieb and Dr. Beth Molnar from Harvard School of Public Health, for their support and guidance on this project as well as the following organizations and agencies for housing and consulting on our study: Multicultural AIDS Coalition and Boston Public Health Commission, Whittier Street Health Center, DOTWELL: Codman Square and Dorchester House Community Health Services, Boston Medical Center’s Urgent Care Clinic. The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elizabeth Reed
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jay G. Silverman
    • 2
  • Seth L. Welles
    • 3
  • Maria Christina Santana
    • 4
  • Stacey A. Missmer
    • 5
  • Anita Raj
    • 4
  1. 1.Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDSYale UniversityNew HavenUSA
  2. 2.Department of Society, Human Development, and HealthHarvard University School of Public HealthBostonUSA
  3. 3.School of Public HealthDrexel UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA
  4. 4.Social Behavioral Sciences DepartmentBoston University School of Public HealthBostonUSA
  5. 5.Department of EpidemiologyHarvard School of Public HealthBostonUSA

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