Community Needs of Minority Male Youth Living in Inner-city Chicago

Document Type


Publication Date


Digital Object Identifier (DOI)



Youth living in low income, urban inner-city environments are exposed to a variety of risk factors for poor psychosocial outcomes. Some of these factors include poverty, inadequate housing, and exposure to gang activity and violence. Despite the well-documented risks of inner-city living, questions still remain regarding how best to improve the wellbeing of minority youth living in these communities and additional research is still needed. The goal of the current study, therefore, was to assess Black and Hispanic inner-city male youth's perceptions of the most pressing needs facing their community. As existing research disproportionately relies on surveys and existing databases to identify the needs of inner-city communities, this study provides a unique contribution to the literature in the utilization of a qualitative methodology. Focus groups were conducted with minority boys living in inner-city Chicago. Audiotapes of these focus groups were transcribed, coded, and thematically analyzed using the NVivo software program. Youth reported community violence prevention, organized recreational activities, and safe parks as their most salient community needs. These data support the need for alternatives-based interventions and additional funding for violence prevention initiatives. This study improves our understanding of what inner-city minority boys view as their most pressing neighborhood needs and should lead to more relevant community programming and tailored interventions.

Was this content written or created while at USF?


Citation / Publisher Attribution

Children and Youth Services Review, v. 98, p. 284-289