G.220 - R&R Other Project Information Form 7. PROJECT SUMMARY/ABSTRACT Pervasive exposure to violence in urban areas puts youth at risk for subsequent perpetration of violence, chronic psychological trauma, and mental and behavioral health problems. Yet many urban schools lack resources to provide adequate support. When under-resourced schools are concentrated in racial and ethnic minority communities, health disparities theory suggests this is a reflection of structural racism and discrimination (R/D). Structural R/D is a multi-level, multi-domain construct with societal (e.g., under-resourced segregated schools), institutional (e.g., racial disparities in punitive discipline), interpersonal (e.g., cultural marginalization and teacher implicit bias), and intrapersonal (e.g., internalized stereotypes) forms that may contribute to youth incidence of violence. These examples of structural racism are compounded in Baltimore City Public Schools (City Schools), an urban district serving primarily Black students and families in de facto segregated schools with racial disparities in out-of-school suspension rates. Rigorous research studies by our team have shown that youth violence prevention models such as Coping Power can produce significant reductions in aggressive behavior among early adolescents in City Schools. However, neither Coping Power, nor any other youth violence prevention interventions to our knowledge, have incorporated strategies that move beyond coping with R/D to actively preventing R/D. We hypothesize that integrating R/D prevention strategies with youth violence preventive intervention will result in a synergistic effect, producing greater reductions in aggression than youth violence preventive interventions alone, while reducing structural R/D at multiple levels. The proposed project integrates a universal, classroom-based adaptation of the evidence-based intervention Coping Power for Baltimore City youth with the Double Check professional development and coaching intervention for teachers, administrators, and school police. Called R-CITY (Erasing Racism and Youth Violence through Collaboration with Teachers and Youth), the project builds on our previous federally-funded research adapting and efficacy testing both preventive interventions in middle schools. We propose to assess the ?value-added? of integrating Coping Power and Double Check (CP+DC), compared to Coping Power alone (CP Only), using a school-level, RCT in 40 Baltimore City middle schools. We will assess the effects of the integrated CP+DC intervention on youth violence and intrapersonal R/D, on classroom interpersonal R/D (including culturally responsive practices and equitable and inclusive youth engagement), and on school institutional R/D (as measured by youth-report of racial climate and disparities in suspensions). Four cohorts of 10 schools will be randomly assigned each year to receive the integrated CP+DC intervention or to receive CP Only. Assessments of outcomes will be administered at pre-test in the fall, post-test in the spring, and at one-year follow-up.

Public Health Relevance

This study will contribute to the limited number of interventions shown to reduce of youth violence, which is a significant public health concern in the US. This study will show that Coping Power is an effective youth violence prevention intervention designed specifically for school-based implementation. The added value of the Double Check model components to address structural racism and discrimination in schools will create a synergistic effect for greater reductions in youth violence.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)
Research Project (R01)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZMD1)
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Alvidrez, Jennifer L
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University of Virginia
Schools of Education
United States
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