Urban African American Parents' Messages About Violence

Sarah Lindstrom Johnson, Nadine Finigan, Catherine Bradshaw, Denise Haynie, Tina Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Family socialization, which includes parental control and support, plays an important role in reducing the likelihood of adolescent involvement in conflict. This study examined the strategies that urban parents living in neighborhoods with high crime rates suggest to help their adolescent children avoid or deescalate conflict. Data came from 48 African American parent/adolescent dyads recruited through the youths' middle school. Dyads responded to three video-taped scenarios depicting youth in potential conflict situations. Qualitative methods were used to identify 11 strategies parents suggested to help youth avoid or deescalate conflict. Although the majority of parents advocated for nonviolent solutions, these same parents described situations in which their child may need to use violence. These findings have important implications for family-focused violence prevention programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)511-534
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Adolescent Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • African Americans
  • community/neighborhood issues
  • parenting
  • violence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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