Descriptive analysis of individual and community factors among african american youths in urban public housingedit
African American adolescents are disproportionately represented in urban public housing developments. These neighborhoods are generally characterized by high rates of poverty, crime, violence, and disorganization. Although evidence is emerging on youths in these communities, little is known about their depressive symptoms, perceived efficacy, or frequency of substance use and sex-risk behavior. Further, even less is known about their exposure to community and household violence, their parents’ behavior, or their sense of connection to their communities. Using a sample of 782 African American adolescents living in public housing neighborhoods located in four large U.S. cities, this article attempts to rectify the observed gap in knowledge by presenting a descriptive overview of their self-reported depressive symptoms self-efficacy frequencies of delinquent and sexual-risk behavior and alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use. The self-reported ratings of their parents’ behavior as well as their exposure to community and household violence are presented. Analytic procedures include descriptive statistics and mean comparisons between genders and across research cities. Results suggest several differences between genders and across research sites. However, results are not very different from national data. Implications for social work practice are discussed.