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Awarded New Investigator/Doctoral Dissertation Grant

The Environment of Middle Childhood and Adolescent Violence in Baltimore Cohort

FOA Number: CE05-025 - Grants for Dissertation Awards
Project Period: 8/30/05-8/29/06
Application/Grant Number: 1-R49-CE000555-01
Principal Investigator: Julie Rajaratnam, BA
Johns Hopkins University
99R Call Street
Jamaica, MA 02130


Youth violence is a significant public health problem in the United States resulting in thousands of needless injuries and deaths each year. Previous research has identified family, school, and neighborhood factors that either increase or decrease the risk of violent behavior; however, to date, their simultaneous and interrelated effects have not been examined. This proposed research will investigate the roles of family, school, and neighborhood during middle childhood and how, together, they impact the risk of violence in adolescence. Researchers will identify risk and protective factors of family, school, and neighborhood at each level, and evaluate their relevant interactive effects.

An existing dataset from the Johns Hopkins Prevention Intervention Research Center will be used to carry out the aims of the study. Cross-classified hierarchical models will be used to estimate the effects of family, school, and neighborhood-level variables and the interactions between them. This study addresses two of CDC’s research priorities set forth by its research agenda: 1) identify modifiable socio-cultural and community factors that influence youth violence; and 2) identify modifiable factors that protect youth from becoming victims or perpetrators of violence. Identifying risk factors for youth violence will aid the development of effective prevention strategies.