Improving schooling and life outcomes of disadvantaged youth is a top priority in the US, but to date not many interventions have been shown to improve the outcomes of these youth, especially males. The core theme of our larger program project is to assess the most effective (and cost-effective) ways to improve long-term life outcomes for disadvantaged youth, with an emphasis on the closely related outcomes of schooling attainment, risky and criminal behavior, and violence involvement. We seek to address this core theme by carrying out a large scale randomized controlled trial (RCT) in Chicago. In the summer of 2013 we identified a study sample of 2,134 males entering 9th and 10th grade in 12 public high schools on Chicago's south and west sides, working in close collaboration with Chicago Public Schools (CPS). These youth were randomized to receive a very promising academic intervention (high-dosage math tutoring delivered by Match Education, which in previous non-experimental studies by our collaborator Roland Fryer have been found to boost math scores by 0.5 to 0.7 standard deviations for 6th and 9th graders), or to a very promising non-academic intervention (a form of cognitive behavioral therapy called """"""""Becoming a Man,"""""""" or BAM, developed and implemented by a non-profit in Chicago, Youth Guidance), or to receive both, or neither. The interventions were launched in August 2013 for the 2013-14 academic year with outside (non-NICHD) support. NICHD support is being requested to extend both interventions for a second year (AY2014-15), through projects 1 and 2, and to carry out in-person data collection in AY2015-16 to measure outcomes and candidate mediating mechanisms. The analysis and dissemination core activities will be carried out by core lead Jonathan Guryan, a leading micro- econometrician, as well as two research staff members, in close collaboration with the PI's for projects 1, 2 and 3 and the rest of our research team. The analysis and dissemination core will (1) help clean, code and prepare for analysis all of our data;(2) analyze data from our projects and other cores to estimate the main effects of the academic and non-academic interventions, their relative effectiveness, and whether implementing both interventions simultaneously yield synergistic (more-than-additive) effects;(3) carry out a range of sensitivity analyses;(4) estimate the key mediators and moderators behind the intervention impacts; (5) carry out a benefit-cost analysis;(6) estimate variability in impacts across schools to learn more about the generalizability of these findings;(7) create a version of these survey data that would be archived for secondary analyses;(8) disseminate the findings broadly to the scientific and education policy community through publication in top peer-reviewed journals and presentations at academic conferences in a range of disciplines;(9) disseminate results to policymakers through, among other things, a Washington, DC event and policy brief. The objectives of the analysis and dissemination core will be complemented by two other cores: the administrative core and the implementation and administrative data core.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Research Program Projects (P01)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZHD1)
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University of Chicago
United States
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Heller, Sara B; Shah, Anuj K; Guryan, Jonathan et al. (2017) Thinking, Fast and Slow? Some Field Experiments to Reduce Crime and Dropout in Chicago. Q J Econ 132:1-54