202807 Caught in the Crossfire: What predicts program success among violently injured youth?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Elaine Zahnd, PhD , Public Health Institute, Oakland, CA
Marla G. Becker, MPH , Youth ALIVE!, Oakland, CA
Sue Holtby, MPH , Public Health Institute, Santa Cruz, CA
Christy McCain, MPH , Public Health Institute, Santa Cruz, CA
Deane Calhoun, MA , Youth ALIVE!, Oakland, CA
Tammy Tam, PhD , Public Health Institute, Alcohol Research Group, Emeryville, CA
An evaluation of Caught in the Crossfire, a hospital-based peer intervention program for victims of interpersonal violence, was conducted to assess predictors of success among participants. The 6-month long program's purpose is to reduce criminal justice involvement, violent reinjury and retaliation, and to increase non-violent behaviors and attitudes. We conducted a retrospective medical and probation records review of 167 program participants, ages 12-20 years, who were hospitalized in Oakland and a prospective case study of 36 clients interviewed four times over a nine-month period.

Retrospective outcomes included violent injury re-hospitalization, criminal justice involvement and death. Prior criminal justice involvement and being African-American versus being Latino or “Other” race predicted negative retrospective outcomes. African-American participants were more likely to have prior arrests. Re-hospitalization rates 18 months post initial injury were 7.2%. Re-arrest rates were 36.1%. For the prospective study, findings show that Latino clients were more likely than African-American clients to have had a male figure in their lives, to have greater self-esteem, and lower tolerance of violence. There were significant increases in numbers working or working and attending school, feelings of safety, and a decrease in violent incidents after program participation. Clients who appear to succeed the most are those without prior arrests, and non-African-American adolescents. Intervening soon after youth are injured can reduce future violence and provide positive alternative outcomes. Tailoring the program to include incentives for meeting individual goals and working more closely with families to increase mutual respect may benefit high-risk clients, such as those with priors.

Learning Objectives:
*Articulate the Caught in the Crossfire program goals *Describe the methodology used to evaluate a hospital-based intervention program for victims of intentional violence *Describe predictors of program success in a hospital-based intervention program *Discuss recommended tailored program elements that might benefit higher risk clients

Keywords: Youth Violence, Community Programs

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Doctorate in Sociology, 40 years of program evaluation experience, authored publications on interpersonal violence, substance-related violence, youth violence, gun violence.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.