Objective. To examine the direct and mediated relationships between religious coping, spirituality, social developmental factors, and violence among high-risk and gang-involved youth in a high-crime, Latin American country. Methods. Using a community sample of 290 high-risk and gang-involved youth in San Salvador, El Salvador, structural equation modeling was employed to examine the relationships between religious coping, spirituality, social developmental factors (e.g., antisocial bond and antisocial beliefs), and violence. Results. Religious coping (β = -0.14, P < 0.05) and spirituality (β = -0.20, P < 0.01) were both significantly associated with antisocial bond. Antisocial bond, in turn, was directly associated with violence (β = 0.70, P < 0.001) and was associated with antisocial beliefs (β = 0.54, P < 0.001); however, the path from antisocial beliefs to violence was not statistically significant. No direct paths were identified from religiosity and spirituality to violence. The goodness-of-fit statistics (root mean square error of approximation, 0.034; comparative fit index, 0.974; and Tucker-Lewis index, 0.966) suggest that the final model had acceptable fit. Conclusions. This study is among the first to shed light on the relationship between religiosity, spirituality, and youth violence in the Latin American context. Elevated levels of religious coping and spirituality are associated with less antisocial bonding, which, in turn, is associated with lower levels of violent behavior among high-risk and gang-involved Salvadoran youth. Study findings suggest that religious coping and spirituality are indirectly protective for youth violence among this high-risk population.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Revista Panamericana de Salud Publica/Pan American Journal of Public Health|
|Publication status||Published - 2013 Sep|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health