“I Live by Shooting Hill”—A Qualitative Exploration of Conflict and Violence among Urban Youth in New Haven, Connecticut


To elucidate urban youths’ perceptions of conflict and violence we conducted a qualitative study among minority urban youths in New Haven, Connecticut. We utilized the ecological framework to explore the multilevel nature of the findings, and triangulated results with a parallel quantitative study. We found risk factors for violence at multiple levels including lack of interpersonal anger management skills (individual level); parents not physically present in the household (relationship level); residence in crime and gang-ridden neighborhoods (community level); and socioeconomic inequalities between neighborhoods, as reflected by participants’ perception of the inadequacy of neighborhood resources to provide safety (societal level). Neighborhood resources were perceived as sparse, and police were not regarded as a protective factor (sometimes rather as racially discriminatory). Participants’ statements pertaining to feelings of isolation, racism, and violence without strong parental, neighborhood, and school support may impede prosocial attitudes and behaviors throughout adolescence and young adulthood.