Violence as a public health priority for black Americans.

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This study investigated the extent to which black public health and political leaders believe that reducing violence should be a national public health priority for black Americans when compared with other public health problems such as acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, low birthweight, and access to health care. A survey asking whether violence in the black community is amendable to change and who (or what institutions) should be responsible for the reduction of violence was sent to 427 black health leaders, 326 black mayors, and 467 black legislators. Three hundred twenty responses were returned. Virtually all respondents placed violence as one of the top five, if not the highest, public health priority for black Americans. Health and political leaders differed in their beliefs about whether violence and violence-related behaviors can be ameliorated, and who should bear responsibility for the reduction of violence. While this survey had limitations, more than 300 black public health and political leaders indicated that violence among black Americans should be made a national public health priority. Policy implications are discussed, and a proactive role for the National Medical Association is advocated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)843-848
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the National Medical Association
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1992

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)

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