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Do Human and Social Capital Protect Young African American Mothers From Depression Associated With Ethnic Discrimination and Violence Exposure? (DCPI Research Link)
Amy Lewin, Stephanie Mitchell, Andrew Rasmussen, Kathy Sanders-Phillips, Jill Joseph

Young minority mothers are particularly vulnerable to depression associated with community-level or contextual stressors such as violence exposure and ethnic discrimination. This study explores whether human and social capital act as buffers of the associations between such stressors and maternal depression. Among a sample of 230 urban, African American mothers, who were teenagers when their preschool-age children were born, both being a victim of violence and experiencing ethnic discrimination predicted increased depressive symptoms, and higher educational attainment predicted fewer symptoms. Ethnic identity moderated the association between witnessed violence and maternal depression, and community cohesion moderated the association between ethnic discrimination and depression. Social support protected against depressive symptoms associated with witnessed violence but seemingly exacerbated depression associated with victimization. The specific roles that forms of human and social capital play in moderating the effects of contextual stressors suggest the need for nuanced programmatic efforts to reduce maternal depression among young African American mothers living in violence-prone, urban neighborhoods.

Published by: Journal of Black Psychology 37(3): 286-310.
Publication Year: 2011 Availability: HTML

Social Defeat or Social Resistance? Reaction to Fear of Crime and Violence Among People with Severe Mental Illness Living in Urban 'Recovery Communities' (DCPI Research Link)
Rob Whitley

This article is propelled by recent theory positing that ‘social defeat’ is a common experience for people with severe mental illness, potentially affecting course and outcome. The primary objective is to investigate how far fear of crime and violence contributes toward ‘social defeat’ among people with mental illness. This is done through examining 6 years of ethnographic data collected from a sample of urban-dwelling people with severe mental illness, all securely-housed in apartments located in small scale ‘‘recovery communities.’’ Findings suggest that many participants living in the highest crime neighborhoods report that they deliberately restrict their temporal and spatial movement as a consequence of such crime. This hinders aspects of their recovery. Nevertheless, participants actively confront the nefarious affects of neighborhood crime by engaging in various empowering strategies of resistance. These include confronting disruptive people, fortifying homes, moving around the neighborhood in small groups and carrying objects such as umbrellas and canes that can be used in self-defense. Some reported that fear of crime directly contributed to the development of a rich and gratifying domestic life, centered on hospitality and religion. I conclude that participants partake in valiant and durable ‘‘social resistance,’’ and may better be perceived as imaginative and resourceful resistors, rather than passive victims of ‘‘social defeat.’’ An influential factor fostering such resistance is the ‘‘recovery community’ itself, which creates secure and reliable housing within a micro-community in which participants could thrive.

Published by: Whitley, Rob. Culture, Medicine & Psychiatry, Dec2011, Vol. 35 Issue 4, p519-535, 17p; DOI: 10.1007/s11013-011-9226-y.
Publication Year: 2011 Availability: HTML

Resiliency Among People Who are Homeless During the Washington-Area Sniper Attacks of October 2002 (DCPI Research Link)
Linda Plitt Donaldson, Frederick L. Ahearn, Carol S. Fullerton, Robert K. Gifford, Robert J Ursano

The natural and man-made disasters in the first decade of the 21st century have raised issues of race, poverty, and inequality in federal, state, and local emergency response and recovery systems. In various studies, reports, and media accounts of these events, little is mentioned about people who were homeless at the time of the disaster, showing a further marginalization of some populations of people who are poor during such times. For this study, researchers interviewed 151 people who were homeless during the Washington, DC, sniper shootings of 2002 to ascertain how they behaved and coped during the shootings, and how long it took them to return to how they were before the shootings. Implications of the findings are drawn for social work research, education, and practice.

Published by: Journal of Poverty, 10875549, 2009, Vol. 13, Issue 1
Publication Year: 2009 Availability: HTML

2009 DC Domestic Violence Census (DCPI Research Link)
DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence

2009 Summary of the District of Columbia Domestic Violence Count Census

Publication Year: 2009 Availability: HTML

Fear of Walking Outdoors: A Multilevel Ecologic Analysis of Crime and Disorder (DCPI Research Link)
C. Roman, A. Chalfin

Although a number of studies have tested ecologic models that postulate relationships among social networks, the built environment, and active living, few neighborhood-based studies have considered the role of crime and violence. This study investigates the degree to which individual-level demographic characteristics and neighborhood-level physical and social characteristics are associated with increased fear of crime.

Published by: American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 34.4 :306-312
Publication Year: 2008 Availability: HTML

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