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Awarded Research Grant to Prevent Violence and Violence-Related Injury

Violence Towards Peers, Dates, and Self: A Developmental Focus

FOA Number: CE03-024 - Grants for Violence-Related Injury Prevention Research
Project Period: 09/01/03–08/31/06
Application/Grant Number: 1-R49-CE423114-01
Principal Investigator: Vangie A. Foshee, PhD
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Injury Prevention Research Center
204 Chase Hall, CB#7505
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7505
Phone: 919-966-6616
Fax: 919-966-2921


Using a developmental perspective, this study will examine the interrelationships among violence directed at peers, towards dates (psychological, physical, and sexual), and towards self (suicide attempts) and identify unique and shared risk factors across those types of violence from four levels of influence: individual, peer, family, and neighborhood. The study will involve collaboration with a currently funded panel study (the Context Study) that is assessing three cohorts of adolescents in the 6th, 7th, and 8th grades in three North Carolina counties, using self-administered questionnaires every 6 months until the adolescents are in the 8th, 9th, and 10th grades, for a total of five data collection waves. Waves 1 (N=5,220) and 2 (N=5,304) are complete and Wave 3 is ongoing. The questionnaires used in those waves measured risk factors, dating violence, and physical and verbal aggression.

This project will collect two additional waves of data from adolescents in grades 9 through 11, and it will add questionnaire items to Waves 4 and 5 to measure all proposed violence outcomes. Peer relationships will be measured using social network methods, which provide an innovative but underused means of advancing understanding of how peer context shapes and is shaped by adolescent violence. Hierarchical linear models and latent curve analysis will be used to address various aims of the project. Specifically, the project will 1) model and compare trajectories of each type of violence across multiple grades, providing information about the timing of onset and patterns of escalation and deceleration for each type of violence; 2) determine the developmental trajectories for each type of violence; 3) model trajectories of each type of violence as a function of baseline risk factors and changes in risk factors over time; and 4) identify the prevalence of perpetration profiles, based on combinations of different types of violence used and risk factors for the different profiles.