UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Neighborhood socioeconomic deprivation and youth assault injuries in Vancouver, Canada Singh, Tanjot K.; Khan, Mayesha; Tansley, Gavin; Chan, Herbert; Brubacher, Jeffrey; Staples, John


Objective: To examine the degree to which neighborhood socioeconomic deprivation influences youth assault injury risk. Study design: Population-based retrospective study of youth aged 10 to 24 years seeking emergency medical care between 2012 and 2019 at 14 hospitals in Vancouver, Canada. Neighborhood material and social deprivation were examined as independent predictors of assault injury, accounting for spatial autocorrelation and controlling for neighborhood drinking establishment density. Results: Our data included 4,166 assault injuries among 3,817 youth. Male sex, substance use and mental health disorders were common among victims of assault. Relative to the least deprived quintile of neighborhoods, assault injury risk was two-fold higher in the most materially deprived quintile of neighborhoods (incidence rate ratio [IRR] per quintile increase, 1.17; 95%CI, 1.06-1.30; p <0.05), and risk in the most socially deprived quintile was over three-fold greater than in the least deprived quintile (IRR per quintile increase, 1.35; 95%CI, 1.21,1.50; p <0.001). Assault risk was 147-fold higher between 2AM and 3AM on Saturday relative to the safest hours of the week. Conclusions: Neighborhood socioeconomic deprivation substantially increases the risk of youth assault injury. Youth violence prevention efforts should target socioeconomically deprived neighborhoods.

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