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Urban Youth Knowledge and Attitudes Regarding Lead Poisoning. J Community Health 2017 Dec;42(6):1255-1266



Pubmed ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-85019549102   6 Citations


Environmental health literacy (EHL) is a promising and evolving field of research that could benefit from youth engagement. Yet studies focused on youths' environmental health awareness and concerns are limited. For example, although lead exposure remains a threat to youth development in urban environments, no published studies have measured urban youth's knowledge of lead poisoning. A CBPR partnership established a youth advisory council (YAC) who helped to design, interpret and disseminate a mixed methods study exploring environmental health perceptions among urban youths ages 10-18. Surveys assessed awareness, attitudes, and knowledge regarding lead poisoning and five environmental health issues determined by the YAC. Focus group questions further contextualized youths' lead knowledge and understanding of youths' environmental health concerns. A majority of youth could identify specific sources of lead exposure but had minimal knowledge of prevention strategies, and focus group data revealed misinformation regarding lead sources and consequences. Survey and focus group respondents' level of awareness and concern regarding YAC-selected EH issues was high in comparison to lead poisoning. In particular, job opportunities and police brutality were endorsed as both neighborhood concerns and priorities. Awareness and knowledge of environmental health issues among urban youth have not been well described. These findings reinforce the importance of addressing problems of local relevance. Moving forward, lead poisoning prevention education for youth and youth EHL partnerships may benefit from incorporating an ecological approach wherein connections to the social and economic context are made explicit.

Author List

Bogar S, Szabo A, Woodruff S, Johnson S


Aniko Szabo PhD Professor in the Institute for Health and Equity department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Community Health Services
Cross-Sectional Studies
Environmental Health
Focus Groups
Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
Lead Poisoning
Urban Population
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