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Am J Public Health. 2009 Dec;99(12):2255-60. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2008.156513. Epub 2009 Oct 15.

Parenting and violence toward self, partners, and others among inner-city young adults.

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Health Program, Education Development Center, 55 Chapel St., Newton, MA 02458, USA.



We examined relationships between parenting status and multiple forms of violence perpetration among young adults in high-poverty environments.


We analyzed data obtained from a survey of 990 young adults in New York City. Respondents reported on violence they had perpetrated toward themselves, intimate partners, and others. Associations between parenting and violence were examined in logistic regressions, controlling for sociodemographics.


Fewer young men (33.0%) than young women (48.6%) reported that they were raising children. Among young men, parenting was associated with violence toward themselves (odds ratio [OR]=1.8; 95% confidence interval [CI]=1.03, 3.16) but not with violence toward partners or others. Among young women, violence perpetration did not differ by parenting status. Correlations among forms of violence were higher among young women than among young men, especially among mothers. Community violence was associated with violence toward others for both genders. For young men, community violence was associated with violence toward partners.


Parenting did not reduce inner-city young adults' perpetration of violence. Among fathers, parenting may be, along with unemployment, a risk for violence toward self. Understanding patterns of violence can inform interventions that support young adults, including those who are parenting, in creating nonviolent homes and communities.

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