Youth perceptions of violence in Western Honduras

Rebecca J. Williams, Paige Castellanos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Youth violence is a growing challenge worldwide, particularly in countries that are experiencing extreme social disorganisation. This is exemplified in Honduras which has been one of the top five countries in the world for intentional homicides for over 20 years. While many studies have examined youth violence in urban cities, few have researched youth violence in rural zones. This study presents a case study using social disorganisation theory to investigate the perceptions of 40 youth in rural and peri-urban Santa Rosa de Copán, Honduras, regarding what drives violence and the potential solutions. Consistent with social disorganisation theory, our results demonstrate that youth view violence as an opportunity pathway resulting from economic deprivation, disruptions to the family and neighbourhood, lack of or poorly functioning external agencies and conflicting moral values. There are significant gender differences in the results, with young men pointing to several issues that challenge masculine hegemonic gender norms such as the desire for love and belonging, participation in education and the role of policing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)397-414
Number of pages18
JournalThird World Quarterly
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 3 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Development


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