All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Susan Davies

Advisory Committee Members

Jeewong Cheong

Comfort Enah

Connie Kohler

Tina Simpson

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) School of Public Health


Youth violence is a significant and prevalent public health concern in the United States. Adolescents and young adults have the highest rates of violent crime perpetration and victimization. Youth violence is a complex problem involving multiple levels of influence that interact to diminish or increase risk and protective factors in high risk communities. Family and neighborhood factors have emerged as prominent influences on the risk of violent and delinquent behavior. Approaches to reducing risk behaviors in adolescence have moved beyond traditional risk-factor reduction to emphasize the importance of enhancing protective factors. Positive youth development programs have been found to be efficacious and cost effective at reducing adolescent risk behaviors. Creating Opportunity Maps to Promote Achievement and Shared Success (COMPASS) is a pilot study developed to decrease youth violence and delinquency among 11-15 year old middle school students in Birmingham, Alabama. The overarching aim of COMPASS was to increase youth skills and competencies to lead them toward positive future trajectories. The purpose of this dissertation study is to determine if COMPASS, a positive youth development program, can decrease violent and delinquent attitudes and beliefs scores among inner-city middle school age African American males in Birmingham, Alabama. In addition, the results of this dissertation will help determine if parental and neighborhood factors moderate the effects of a youth violence prevention intervention on delinquent attitudes and beliefs. Relationships between a positive youth development study, adolescents, parental factors, neighborhood factors, and violent and delinquent beliefs and attitudes were analyzed among a sample of 38 African American males who participated in the COMPASS study. The results of the linear regression analysis indicate the COMPASS intervention did not decrease violent and delinquent attitudes and beliefs scores. Additionally, neither parental factors nor neighborhood factors moderated the effects of the COMPASS intervention on delinquent beliefs and attitudes. As the sample size was small, it is important to note that parental monitoring and supervision and parental attachment, could potentially moderate the relationship between the COMPASS intervention and violent and delinquent attitudes and beliefs scores. The relationship is trending towards significance; however further research is needed to test the associations.

Included in

Public Health Commons



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