In response to RFA-MD-18-005, ?Youth Violence Prevention Interventions that Incorporate Racism Discrimina- tion Prevention,? this proposed study will examine, via a cluster-randomized controlled trial, the effectiveness of a trauma-focused, gender-transformative youth violence prevention program that integrates racism and dis- crimination prevention. In the United States, racial/ethnic minority youth are disproportionately impacted by vio- lence, with higher rates of homicide, physical assaults, and school fights than non-Hispanic Whites, most com- monly within neighborhoods with concentrated social and economic disadvantage and high levels of gun vio- lence. While a growing number of youth violence prevention programs are incorporating structural interventions to address the limited educational and employment opportunities for youth in marginalized neighborhoods, few have directly addressed gender and racial injustice as a modifiable factor in youth violence prevention. The proposed community partnered study will examine the effectiveness of a program for youth violence prevention titled ?Creating Peace? (CP). Through 12 sessions (3 hours/session) over 6 to 12 weeks in a group format with activities that explore race, gender, sexual identity, and social class, the program will support participants in healing from experiences of trauma by restoring social connections, challenging gender norms that foster vio- lence perpetration, and practicing positive bystander intervention skills to intervene safely with peers' disre- spectful and harmful behaviors. Youth leadership skills are nurtured in the latter part of the program, where youth will offer guidance to law enforcement officers in a process of social restoration. The study will be in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (PA) across 24 lower-resource neighborhoods, randomized to receive either CP (n=12) or the control intervention (n=12) (job skills development). Partnerships from the Pittsburgh community include Black churches, youth-serving agencies, law enforcement, juvenile justice, child protective services, schools, health department, human services as well as policy makers. At 3 months after the program (Time 2), compared to youth (ages 14-18) in control neighborhoods, youth in CP are expected to demonstrate: greater reduction in recent violence perpetration (primary outcome); fewer number of times carrying a weapon in past 30 days (secondary); increased positive bystander behaviors (secondary); decreased experiences of bias- based discrimination (exploratory) (Aim 1). Surveys at 9 months after end of program will assess whether CP results in sustained improvements in these same outcomes (Time 3; final n = 1440), compared to controls (Aim 2). We will explore whether baseline risk and protective factors (e.g., homicide survivorship, social supports) may interact with the intervention to predict changes in outcomes of interest (i.e., how intervention outcomes may differ across groups) (Aim 3). Finally, we will explore impact of the bias-based discrimination prevention component on law enforcement officers who participate in the restorative practice sessions with youth (Aim 4).
This community-partnered study will examine, via a cluster-randomized controlled trial, the effectiveness of a trauma-focused, gender-transformative youth violence prevention program that integrates racism and discrimi- nation prevention. Set in 24 neighborhoods in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with concentrated social and economic disadvantage, this study addresses gender and racial injustice through a series of group discussions, bringing together adolescents ages 14-18 with law enforcement officers in a process of social restoration. In addition to examining the impact on youth violence perpetration, the study will explore the impact of bias-based discrimi- nation prevention on law enforcement officers' attitudes and practices.