257907 MI-YVPC: A community-based, multi-level approach to youth violence prevention

Monday, October 29, 2012

Marc Zimmerman, PhD , Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Thomas Reischl, PhD , Prevention Research Center of Michgian, University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, MI
Susan Morrel-Samuels, MPH , Prevention Research Center, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Alison Miller, PhD , Prevention Research Center, University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, MI
Sophie Aiyer, PhD , Prevention Research Center, University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, MI
Background/Purpose: Youth violence is a pervasive public health issue affecting not only youth, but also families, and communities. The Michigan Youth Violence Prevention Center (MI-YVPC) focuses on a high-risk neighborhood in Flint, Michigan. Using six interventions operating on individual, relational, and community ecological levels, and encompassing both general and high-risk populations, MI-YVPC seeks to enhance family and peer relationships, increase neighborhood cohesion and participation, and improve environmental conditions in an effort to reduce violence among 10-24 year olds.

Methods: The interventions comprising our comprehensive approach to youth violence prevention are: 1) Youth Empowerment Solutions; 2) Targeted Outreach Mentoring; 3) Fathers and Sons; 4) Project Sync; 5) Clean and Green; and 6) Community Policing. The evaluation employs a two pronged quasi-experimental design to assess the effectiveness at the community level. We will assess changes in the social and physical environments of the intervention and matched comparison areas. Outcomes include police incidents, intentional injuries, perceptions of neighborhood safety, social capital and engagement, and property parcel assessments. The analytic plan involves: 1) comparative analyses across two neighborhoods with similar violence incidence and demographic characteristics; and 2) spatial analyses comparing outcomes across all census tracts.

Results/Conclusions: Results contribute to our understanding of the effects a comprehensive, empowerment-based approach to violence prevention can have on individuals and neighborhoods as a whole. The implementation of a multi-level prevention initiative poses methodological and practical challenges. We will report on the strategies used to address such challenges and how our strategies may be applied to other prevention initiatives.

Learning Areas:
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe a comprehensive, evidence-based youth violence prevention effort which includes both universal and selective intervention strategies.

Keywords: Youth Violence, Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am currently a postdoctoral research fellow in the Youth Violence Prevention Center at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. My research focuses on designing and implementing developmentally appropriate strategies to reduce risk for delinquency and violence in low-income populations.
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.