Neighborhood features associated with decreased odds of homicide in adolescents

March 07, 2016

Neighborhood features including street lighting, parks, public transportation and maintained vacant lots were associated with lower odds of homicide among young people ages 13 to 20, according to an article published online by JAMA Pediatrics.

Youth violence is as complex as it is pervasive. Understanding the influence of modifiable environmental factors on adolescent homicide is an important step in designing interventions for youth violence prevention.

Alison J. Culyba, M.D., M.P.H., of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and coauthors looked at the association between neighborhood environmental features and adolescent homicide in Philadelphia. The study included 143 homicide victims (average age 18.4 years) and 155 matched control participants who were not victims of homicide.

Researchers used pictures to create 360-degree panoramic images of the neighborhood from the street corner closest to each homicide and the location of control participants at the time of the homicides for comparison. The photographs were coded for 60 environmental elements.

Study results indicate lower odds of adolescent homicide were associated with street lighting, illuminated walk/don't walk signs, painted marked crosswalks, public transportation, parks and maintained vacant lots.

The odds of adolescent homicide were higher in places with stop signs, houses with security bars/gratings and private bushes or plantings.

The authors note their study has limitations such as unmeasured individual, social and contextual factors that were not included but may have influenced the findings.

"The findings related to maintained vacant lots and green space hold promise as targets for future place-based interventions. Researchers using this urban revitalization strategy should consider studying homicide reduction as a key health outcome. ... We identified multiple modifiable factors that can potentially be targeted in future randomized intervention trials to investigate ways to reduce youth violence by improving neighborhood context," the study concludes.
-end-
(JAMA Pediatr. Published online March 7, 2016. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2015.4697. Available pre-embargo to the media at http://media.jamanetwork.com.)

Editor's Note: The article includes funding/support disclosures. Please see article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, etc.

Media Advisory: To contact corresponding author Alison J. Culyba, M.D., M.P.H., call Joey McCool Ryan at 267-426-6070 or email mccool@email.chop.edu.

The JAMA Network Journals

Related Homicide Articles from Brightsurf:

State gun laws may help curb violence across state lines: study
Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health researchers find that strong state firearm laws are associated with fewer firearm homicides--both within the state where the laws are enacted and across state lines.

Homicides near schools affect students' educational outcomes
Homicides near schools negatively impact on the educational attainment of children, a new study in the Journal of Labor Economics reports.

In Brazil, homicides are decreasing in big cities, increasing in smaller towns: BU study
A new Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) study maps changes in homicide rates across Brazil from 2000 through 2014.

Handgun purchaser licensing laws are associated with lower firearm homicides, suicides
State handgun purchaser licensing laws--which go beyond federal background checks by requiring a prospective buyer to apply for a license or permit from state or local law enforcement--appear to be highly effective at reducing firearm homicide and suicide rates.

Risk of suicide, homicide, unintentional firearm deaths at home
Personal protection is often cited as a reason for owning a firearm.

Fewer liquor stores may lead to less homicide
Reducing the number of businesses in Baltimore that sell alcohol in urban residential areas may lower the homicide rate, according to new research.

Pregnant women in Louisiana at increased risk for homicide
Pooja Mehta, MD, clinical assistant professor of obstetrics & gynecology at LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine, was a member of a research team that found 13% of deaths occurring during or up to one year after pregnancy among Louisiana women in 2016-17 were homicides.

A study shows growth trends in female homicide victims in Spain spanning over a century
In a groundbreaking study, research carried out between the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC) and the University of Lausanne (UNIL, Switzerland) has compiled data on homicide victims in Spain, disaggregated by gender, from 1910 to 2014.

Homicide is a leading cause of pregnancy-associated death in Louisiana
Homicide is a leading cause of death among pregnant and postpartum women in Louisiana, according to an analysis of birth and death records from 2016 and 2017.

Homicide among pregnant, postpartum women in Louisiana
Researchers examined how often homicide was the cause of death among women in Louisiana who were pregnant or up to one year postpartum compared with other causes.

Read More: Homicide News and Homicide Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.