Associations between the Life Course Development Model of Community Capacity Building and Abuse among Children and Adolescents in Washington State
Robertson, Marissa D'Anne
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Background: In the Life Course Development Model (LCDM), the community environment - biologic, physical, and social - strongly affects an individual's capacity to be healthy. Building on the fundamental concept that one's community and environment have a big impact over time on a person's health, the Washington State Family Policy Council partnered with Community Networks to build community capacity, aimed at creating environments for residents that support community members in such ways that reduce rates of adverse childhood experiences and childhood violence. Objectives: To describe and examine correlated reported experience of abuse among youth in 10th and 12th grades in Washington State. Compare the prevalence of reported experiences of abuse in counties with Community Networks that did and did not adopt the LCDM of community capacity building. Method: Cross-sectional cohort study using data collected for the Washington State 2010 Healthy Youth Survey, Form B and NS. A total of 5,347 10th and 12th grade students from 12 counties were included in the study; LCDM counties include (all rank as high capacity): Adams County, Okanogan County, San Juan County, Walla Walla County and Whatcom County. Counties that do not follow the LCDM approach are: Clallam County, Clark County, Grays Harbor County, Mason County, Pacific County, Snohomish County, and Spokane County. Results: After adjustment for effect modifiers of grade and sex, we found a statistically significant reduction in 12th grade females experience of abuse by dating partner who reside in a LCDM county (OR=0.45; 95% CI = [0.25, 0.80]). Additionally, there was a significant protective effect of living in a LCDM county for 12th grade males from threats of abuse from their dating partner (OR=0.6; 95% CI = [0.37, 0.96]). Conclusion: Our findings highlight a protective effect from abuse by living in a LCDM county, especially for 12th grade adolescents. Community capacity building following the Life Course Development Model along complex systems thinking has a significant association with reduced rates of child abuse experiences for adolescents.
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