Abstract: WITHDRAWN Violence Exposure, Depression, and Sleep: A Study of Black and Latinx Adolescents in the U.S (Society for Social Work and Research 26th Annual Conference - Social Work Science for Racial, Social, and Political Justice)

WITHDRAWN Violence Exposure, Depression, and Sleep: A Study of Black and Latinx Adolescents in the U.S

Saturday, January 15, 2022
Marquis BR Salon 8, ML 2 (Marriott Marquis Washington, DC)
* noted as presenting author
Patricia Bamwine, PhD, Assistant Professor, University of Tennessee
Anne Conway, PhD, Urban Child Institute Endowed Professor, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN
Hannah Lozano, MSW Candidate, University of Tennessee
Background and Purpose: The sociohistorical context of violence in the United States is rooted in racial, economic, and social injustices. Many factors contribute to the concentration of violence in communities across the U.S., including poverty rates, family structure (Kingston et al, 2009), educational attainment (Galea & Ahern, 2005; Kingston et. Al, 2009), and a variety of compounding risk factors. Black Americans are more likely to experience multiple childhood adversities (Slack, Font, & Jones, 2017), and in a 2013 sample of socioeconomically disadvantaged Latinos and Black Americans who grew up in an urban area, 80 percent of participants had been exposed to at least one adverse experience (Mersky, Topitzes, Reynolds, 2013).

Adverse experiences, such as violence exposure, are generally seen as a factor strongly related to negative health outcomes, however, the current literature fails to consider the differing categories of adversity and the unique impact they may have on varying domains of health. The primary aim of this study was to better understand the relationship between violence exposure, depression, and sleep.

Methods: We used data on Black and Latinx youth from the Add Health Study-Public Use (n=2314; 68% Black). Youth rated their exposure to violence, physical health, insomnia, and sleep duration on single-items via self-report. Depressive symptoms were measured via self-report using the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression (CES-D; Radloff, 1977) and, following Costello and colleagues (2008), we used the 3-item scale (Costello et al., 2008).

Results: Results from multiple regression analyses demonstrated that more violence exposure was associated with more depressive symptoms (B= .30, p = .00) and insomnia (B= .32, p = .00), low perceived health (B= -.20, p = .00), and a trend toward shorter sleep duration (B= -.23, p = .050). Relative to Latinx, Black youth had better perceived health (B= .14, p = .003), but shorter sleep duration (B= -.29, p = .00).

Conclusion and Implications: Using a large nationally representative sample, our findings demonstrate that among Black and Latinx youth, violence exposure during adolescence is significantly associated with poor physical and sleep health and mental health.

An implication of these findings is that both physical and mental health should be taken into account when working with Black and Latinx youth who have experienced a violent event. Understanding the intersection of violence exposure and health, more specifically depression and sleep, may inform programming, and promote social justice. Wrap-around services for clients and communities that focus on both physical and mental health after a traumatic and/or violent event may improve the quality of life of clients and should be assessed.