Awarded Research Grant to Prevent Violence and Violence-Related Injury


Youth violence exacts a high toll in local communities. Effective violence prevention programs can improve community safety, but only when they are implemented well. This can be challenging given the advanced capacity needed to implement high quality prevention, resulting in a large gap between the positive outcomes often achieved by prevention science and the lack of these outcomes at the local level. This project will assess the effects of community participation by implementing a capacity-building model in schools, called “Getting to Outcomes” (GTO).

This study will test whether using GTO leads to better implementation of an evidenced-based violence prevention program, “Too Good for Drugs and Violence” (TGDV), and as a result, decreased violent behavior in schools. Investigators will use a quasi experimental design. Six high schools in Santa Barbara County will administer TGFDV during six semesters over a three-year period. Three high schools will be assigned to the intervention group (i.e., receive the capacity building tool, GTO) and three in the same county will serve as comparison sites (TGFDV only). The intervention will consist of delivery of the GTO manual, an annual training in GTO, and biweekly technical assistance to violence prevention school staff delivering the TGFDV curriculum. Standardized assessments of GTO use and TGFDV implementation will be administered each semester across the life of the proposed project. The investigators will assess school violence behaviors and perceptions at the intervention and comparison sites prior to TGFDV and GTO implementation and up to two years later using school records on disciplinary actions and a bi annual cohort survey of 9th and 11th graders. They will also measure the financial costs associated with implementing GTO over and above TGFDV. This project proposes to narrow the gap between prevention science and practice by empirically testing a tool to build capacity to implement evidence-based violence prevention in the community. As such, this project is consistent with the cross-cutting and youth violence research priorities developed by CDC, which also emphasizes capacity issues.