Risk factors for recurrent violent injury among black men

Published:April 25, 2016DOI:



      Black men are disproportionately overrepresented among victims of repeat violent injury. However, little is known about the risk factors that influence violent trauma recidivism among black men. We hypothesize that the following risk factors would be significant among black male victims of repeat violent injury: disrespect; being under the influence; being in a fight and using a weapon in the past year; and previous incarceration when comparing trauma recidivists versus nonrecidivists.


      Using secondary data analysis, we identified a sample of 191 (n = 191) urban low-income black men treated by a level I trauma unit in Baltimore for violent injury (e.g., gunshot wound, stabbing, or assault) who participated in a hospital-based violence intervention program from 1998 to 2011. Participants in the program completed a risk factor for violent injury questionnaire to assess: exposure to chronic violence, criminal justice involvement, substance abuse, and disrespect (code of the street).


      We found that 58% of the sample is characterized as trauma recidivists (defined as hospitalization two or more times for violent injury). Black male patients of violent injury who engage in the following: substance abuse; had previously been in a fight or used a weapon in the past year; perceived disrespect as a precursor to violence; and experienced a previous incarceration were more likely to have multiple hospitalizations for violent injury.


      Trauma recidivism among urban black male victims of violent injury is a major public health issue. Hospital-based violence intervention programs should be engaged in reducing trauma recidivism among this population.


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