Reducing Youth Violence and Racism/Discrimination: The Efficacy of Comprehensive Prevention Strategies (CPS) project is being submitted to National Institute of Health: Youth Violence Prevention Interventions that Incorporate Racism/Discrimination Prevention (R01). This study will evaluate the effects of a comprehensive intervention addressing (a) individual, (b) educator, (c) school, and (d) community-levels variables. Specifically, interracial and intraracial youth aggression and school disengagement will be analyzed through a quasi-randomized control trial of Coping Power versus Coping Power+, a newly developed version with racism and discrimination content. Educator outcomes will be evaluated by school-level randomization to traditional SWPBIS alone or SWPBIS+ implicit bias training and culturally responsive adaptations. Finally, community risk will be evaluated through parental involvement in either traditional Coping Power Parent program or the Coping Power Parent Program+, that includes racism and discrimination content. The purpose of the CPS intervention which includes CP+ and SWPBIS+ is to preventatively address individual, school, and community risk for youth violence and aggression, particularly related to racially based aggression and violence by intervening at multiple entry points and leveraging the evidence-based Coping Power and SWPBIS approaches to include much-needed adaptations. This project will include a 5-year randomized control trial with four conditions: (a) SWPBIS and CP (serving as control), (b) SWPBIS+ and CP, (c) SWPBIS and CP+, and (d) SWPBIS+ and CP+. Project planning and student screening will occur in Year 1, with three cohorts of schools and students in intervention in Years 2-4, and follow-up data for the Year 4 cohort collected in Year 5. Twenty middle schools (6th to 8th grade) in large districts in Alabama, representing diverse student populations across race and poverty levels will be included in the project. To address Aim 1, 20 schools implementing Tier 1 SWPBIS to criterion (i.e., a score of at least 70% on a validated fidelity measure; Mercer et al., 2017) will be randomly assigned to the Tier 1 conditions: SWPBIS+ training or continued SWPBIS implementation. Within each middle school (6th and 7h grade), students with high levels of externalizing behavior (top 25% based on screening, described below) will be recruited and randomly assigned to CP or CP+. At each of the 20 schools, 17 children will be included for CP intervention for each new cohort in Years 2-4, yielding 1,020 students total with 510 students in each condition for the CP vs. CP+ contrast.
This project has the potential for critical public health outcomes: (a) reducing youth violence, particularly related to race, (b) improving school climate and (c) improving teacher practices regarding discipline, racism, and discrimination in public schools.