Small Projects

The goal for the Small Projects program is to provide PCVPC with a means of developing and exploring new research activities that can be added to other PCVPC studies

Developing Adolescent RADAR to Screen for Dating Violence

This project, funded by The Center for Public Health Initiatives at the University of Pennsylvania, seeks to develop a brief, evidence-based screening tool for adolescent dating violence that can be used by healthcare providers and researchers to explore adolescent dating violence. The study will gather data from healthcare providers and researchers about standard best practices to help develop an evidence-based screening tool to assess for adolescent dating violence. This multi-phase study will solicit input from adolescent health specialists, experts on adolescent dating violence, and adolescents themselves to develop an adolescent-specific version of the validated RADAR tool established by the Massachusetts Medical Society to assess for adult domestic violence. Future studies will gather adolescent input about the acceptability of wording and appropriateness of the provider-suggested questions and evaluate the overall effectiveness of the tool in a larger sample of adolescents.

Living Healthy in Philadelphia

Living Healthy in Philadelphia is designed to explore individual and environmental assets and stressors experienced by youth. This study will help us understand the trajectory of youth violence by focusing on behaviors that result from exposure to individual and environmental stressors. These stressors potentially outstrip the youth's assets and resiliency and lead to negative health consequences.

This project includes two phases: Phase 1 consisted of semi-structured, open-ended interviews of more than 20 youth ages 10 to 16. The purpose of these interviews was to verify whether the stressors, assets, and health consequences as conceptualized by the research team were congruent with the experiences of youth living in West and Southwest Philadelphia. These data informed Phase 2 of the study. In Phase 2, 100 youth ages 10 to 16 were asked to complete a survey interview. The purpose of these surveys was to understand the relations among stressors, assets, health, youth violence, and related problem behaviors.

Safety Nets

Safety Nets proposes a collaborative, neighborhood-based partnership between the Black Women in Sport Foundation (BWSF), the Starfinder Foundation (Starfinder), Temple University, and the University of Pennsylvania. It provides a violence prevention education intervention designed for 10 to 14-year-olds in the high-risk neighborhoods of Southwest Philadelphia. Focused around the nontraditional sports of tennis and soccer, the combination of athletics, formal instruction, and mentorship will enhance problem-solving skills, discipline development, resiliency, respect for cultural differences, healthy decision-making, and positive leadership skills.

Vacant Properties Study

The purpose of this study was to determine if vacant properties increase the likelihood of aggravated assault in neighborhoods and whether the magnitude of vacant properties changes how institutions such as schools, parks/playgrounds, and police/fire stations influence the likelihood of aggravated assault.

An analysis of data from 1,816 blockgroups indicates that vacant properties were related to an increased risk of aggravated assaults. Moreover, the relationship of vacant properties to aggravated assaults surpassed that of other well-known demographic and socioeconomic indicators of disadvantage in Philadelphia neighborhoods. The effect of vacant properties was so strong that it negatedthe effect of other influences on aggravated assault, such as open parks and alcohol outlets, particularly in the most challenged neighborhoods. Unlike many of the socioeconomic characteristics of neighborhoods, vacant properties represent a highly visible and modifiable target of intervention.

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