Date of Conferral



Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)


Public Health


Jirina Renger


Violence is among the most serious threats to the health and safety of young people between the ages of 10 and 24 in the United States. The purpose of this cross-sectional quantitative study using secondary data from the CDC's 2015 National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NHAMCS) data set was to examine the characteristics (age, sex, race and ethnicity, insurance or payer source, and housing status) of young people between the ages of 10 and 24 who seek medical care for assault-related injuries through the emergency department (ED). The social ecological model was used to examine the complex interplay between individual, relationship, community, and societal factors, which allows for a better understanding of the range of factors that put people at risk for or protect them from being a victim of or engaging in violence. Chi-square and logistic regression with clustered robust standard errors was used to analyze the differences and the relationships between 6 characteristic variables and the likelihood of ED visits among young people between the ages of 10 and 24 for assault-related injuries. The results of this study provide researchers with a better understanding of the demographics of young people who seek care in the ED for assault-related injuries. Understanding this population is critical in examining the effectiveness of ED-based youth violence prevention programs. Future research is needed to understand the value and outcomes of existing ED-based youth violence prevention programs. Should public health practitioners use these results, positive social change can occur by empowering social norms that value equality, safety, and human rights instead of valuing power over another and the acceptance of violent behaviors as normal.