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Awarded Cooperative Agreement to Prevent Violence and Violence-Related Injury

Primary Prevention Addressing Community Factors for Latino Youth Violence

FOA Number: CE05-020 - Youth Violence Prevention through Community-Level Change
Project Period: 09/01/05-08/31/09
Application/Grant Number: 1-U49-CE000771-01
Principal Investigator: Mark Cameron Edberg
The George Washington University
Dept. of Prevention & Health Services
2175 K Street, NW, Suite 700
Washington, DC 20037


In Langley Park, Maryland, a Washington, DC suburb, violence among Latino youth has substantially increased over the past decade, impacted by social and demographic factors, including the influx of refugees/immigrants from Central America. Community characteristics related to youth violence include a pattern of sequential family immigration that has consequences for family cohesion and contributes to a reliance on peer socialization; a lack of language and culturally-appropriate services for immigrant youth who face barriers to successful school performance; low awareness/perception of community support; the presence of at least three major Latino gangs; and the integration of violence into prevalent youth norms related to status and reputation.

Researchers will determine if SAFER Latinos (Seguridad, Apoyo, Familia, Educacion, Y Recursos), a primary prevention program tailored to specific community-level mediating factors for Latino youth violence targeting Langley Park, MD can positively impact mediating factors and reduce the incidence of violence by and among Latino youth and gang involvement (outcome) if positive results occur. Investigators will implement SAFER Latinos in the Langley Park, MD Community; collect process data regarding implementation; evaluate the data using a quasi-experimental design with baseline (prior to intervention) and two follow-up data collections in both the intervention and a control community (Culmore, Virginia); and will measure change in a selected set of aggregate community variables that represent mediating factors and outcomes for youth violence in Langley Park. Data will be collected via a survey and focus groups. Relationships between baseline mediators and community violence will be assessed through bivariate and multivariate analyses. Comparability of intervention/control communities will be assessed by comparing baseline data supplemented with school and community-level indicators of violence. Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA) will be used to measure change in the selected mediating variables for youth violence,. Regression analysis will help researchers determine whether the identified community measures are mediators of both individual (e.g., self- report of involvement in violence and gangs) and community (e.g., juvenile arrests for Latino youth) level outcomes. The proposed effort will provide data on whether a community-level intervention will work for the type of violence prevalent in Langley Park and similar communities and also a documented intervention model with evaluation instruments and protocols.