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Understanding violence and developing resilience with African American youth in high-poverty, high-crime communities


  • McCrea, Katherine Tyson
  • Richards, Maryse
  • Quimby, Dakari
  • Scott, Darrick
  • Davis, Lauren
  • Hart, Sotonye
  • Thomas, Andre
  • Hopson, Symora


The scourge of community violence that besets young citizens in high-poverty U.S. communities of color is a compelling social problem to address. This article synthesizes studies of causes and preventive services for youth violence, including randomized controlled experiments and theoretical, case study contributions. Available evidence indicates that causes of youth violence are complex and interact across multiple layers of social systems. Accordingly, single-factor programs and policies developed for other populations tend to be ineffective for addressing the many injustices with which youth in high-poverty, high-crime communities of color contend. Therefore, we develop a perspective that is developmental, multi-systemic, and restorative of youths' dignity. Responding to researchers' calls for more contextually-grounded case studies of causes and remedies for youth violence, this article focuses on Chicago, where street violence rates in some communities are among the highest in the world and have increased in the last several years.

Suggested Citation

  • McCrea, Katherine Tyson & Richards, Maryse & Quimby, Dakari & Scott, Darrick & Davis, Lauren & Hart, Sotonye & Thomas, Andre & Hopson, Symora, 2019. "Understanding violence and developing resilience with African American youth in high-poverty, high-crime communities," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 296-307.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:cysrev:v:99:y:2019:i:c:p:296-307
    DOI: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2018.12.018

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Wendy Arhuis-Inca & Miguel Ipanaqué-Zapata & Janina Bazalar-Palacios & Jorge Gaete, 2022. "Space Analysis of School Violence in the Educational Setting of Peru, 2019," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 19(23), pages 1-13, November.
    2. Jun Sung Hong & Saijun Zhang & Rachel C. Garthe & Megan R. Hicks & Ellen W. deLara & Dexter R. Voisin, 2021. "Motivation to Move Out of the Community as a Moderator of Bullying Victimization and Delinquent Behavior: Comparing Non-Heterosexual/Cisgender and Heterosexual African American Adolescents in Chicago’," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 18(24), pages 1-14, December.
    3. Wathen, Maria V. & Decker, Patrick L.F. & Richards, Maryse H. & Tyson McCrea, Katherine & Onyeka, Cynthia & Weishar, Charity N. & DiClemente, Cara & Donnelly, Will, 2021. "Towards improving engagement of youth of color in cross-age mentoring programs in high poverty, high crime neighborhoods," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 128(C).

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