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Journal Article

Citation

Smith JR. Am. J. Public Health 2015; 105 Suppl 3: S483-90.

Affiliation

At the time of the study, Jocelyn R. Smith was a PhD candidate in the Department of Family Science, University of Maryland, College Park, School of Public Health.

Copyright

(Copyright © 2015, American Public Health Association)

DOI

10.2105/AJPH.2014.302535

PMID

25905836

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: I examined the frequency and developmental timing of traumatic loss resulting from the health disparity of homicide among young Black men in Baltimore, Maryland.

METHODS: Using a modified grounded theory approach, I conducted in-depth semistructured interviews with 40 Black men (aged 18-24 years) from January 2012 to June 2013. I also constructed adapted life history calendar tools using chronologies of loss, and (1) provided a comprehensive history of loss, (2) determined a specific frequency of homicide deaths, (3) indicated participants' relationship to the decedents, and (4) identified the developmental timing of deaths.

RESULTS: On average, participants knew 3 homicide victims who were overwhelmingly peers. Participant experiences of homicide death started in early childhood, peaked in adolescence, and persisted into emerging adulthood. The traumatic loss of peer homicide was a significant developmental turning point and disrupted participants' social networks.

CONCLUSIONS: The traumatic loss of peer homicide was a prevalent life course experience for young Black men and identified the need for trauma- and grief-informed interventions. Future research is needed to examine the physical and psychosocial consequences, coping resources and strategies, and developmental implications of traumatic loss for young Black men in urban contexts. (Am J Public Health. Published online ahead of print April 23, 2015: e1-e8. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2014.302535).


Language: en

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