Date of this Version
BACKGROUND: We collected detailed activity paths of urban youth to investigate the dynamic interplay between their lived experiences, time spent in different environments, and risk of violent assault.
METHODS: We mapped activity paths of 10- to 24-year-olds, including 143 assault patients shot with a firearm, 206 assault patients injured with other types of weapons, and 283 community controls, creating a step-by-step mapped record of how, when, where, and with whom they spent time over a full day from waking up until going to bed or being assaulted. Case-control analyses compared cases with time-matched controls to identify risk factors for assault. Case-crossover analyses compared cases at the time of assault with themselves earlier in the day to investigate whether exposure increases acted to the trigger assault.
RESULTS: Gunshot assault risks included being alone (odds ratio [OR] = 1.6, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.3, 1.9) and were lower in areas with high neighbor connectedness (OR = 0.7, 95% CI = 0.6, 0.8). Acquiring a gun (OR = 1.4, 95% CI = 1.1, 1.6) and entering areas with more vacancy, violence, and vandalism (OR = 1.7, 95% CI = 1.1, 2.7) appeared to trigger the risk of getting shot shortly thereafter. Nongunshot assault risks included being in areas with recreation centers (OR = 1.2, 95% CI = 1.1, 1.4). Entering an area with higher truancy (OR = 1.6, 95% CI = 1.1, 2.5) and more vacancy, violence, and vandalism appeared to trigger the risk of nongunshot assault. Risks varied by age group.
CONCLUSIONS: We achieved a large-scale study of the activities of many boys, adolescents, and young men that systematically documented their experiences and empirically quantified risks for violence. Working at a temporal and spatial scale that is relevant to the dynamics of this phenomenon gave novel insights into triggers for violent assault.
Copyright © 2015 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives License 4.0 (CCBY-NC-ND), where it is permissible to download and share the work provided it is properly cited. The work cannot be changed in any way or used commercially.
Wiebe, D., Richmond, T. S., Guo, W., Allison, P., Hollander, J., Nance, M. L., & Branas, C. (2016). Mapping Activity Patterns to Quantify Risk of Violent Assault in Urban Environments. Epidemiology, 27 (1), 32-41. http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/EDE.0000000000000395
Date Posted: 08 July 2016
This document has been peer reviewed.