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Pediatr Emerg Care. 2019 Apr 29. doi: 10.1097/PEC.0000000000001797. [Epub ahead of print]

Factors Associated With Urban Youth and Parent Perceptions of the Preventability of Assault Injury: An Emergency Department Sample.

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Department of Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD.
School of Social and Family Dynamics, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ.
Department of Pediatrics, Emergency Medicine, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, PA.



This study aimed to identify factors associated with urban youth and parent's perception of the preventability of medically attended youth assault injuries to guide future violence prevention strategies.


Assault-injured youth (n = 188; ages, 10-15 years; 60% male; 96% black) and their parents were recruited from 2 pediatric emergency departments in 2 cities. Mental health, injury severity, circumstances of injury, and family composition were some of the factors explored as cross-sectional predictors of the perception of the preventability of youth assault injury. Separate models were developed using stepwise regression for youth and parents.


Sixty-eight (38%) youth and 123 parents (68%) reported that the injury was definitely preventable (χ = 9.6250, P < 0.05). For youth, identifying themselves as the aggressor (odds ratio [OR], 0.23, 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.07-0.70) or having been hospitalized for psychiatric illness (OR, 0.21; 95% CI, 0.05-0.85) was associated with lower odds of perceiving their injury as preventable, while being under the care of a mental health professional (OR, 3.87; 95% CI, 1.21-12.39) was associated with higher odds. For parents, being in a household with grandparents (OR, 0.21; 95% CI, 0.04-0.99) or having a child with a learning disability (OR, 0.16; 95% CI, 0.05-0.57) was associated with lower odds of perceiving the injury as preventable.


Several factors in youth and parents were identified as being associated with perception of preventability of injuries in this high-risk population of youth. Youth and parents identified different factors. In addition, although most parents reported that the assault injury sustained by their child was preventable, the opposite was true for youth perceptions. Future violence prevention programs should consider youth and parent perspectives and develop unique strategies to address both their needs.

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