Trauma, Stress, and Violence

Active grants

The Trauma, Stress, and Violence research area looks at prevalence, prevention, and risk and protective factors for relational violence or coercion and support for the vulnerable groups affected. Topics include teen dating violence, sexual assault and rape, domestic violence, and bullying and peer victimization.

Creating Protective Environments through School Policy Development

Principal Investigator: Poco Kernsmith

Grant funder: Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Research is needed to evaluate and inform school policy to prevent multiple forms of youth violence. The present study seeks to comprehensively evaluate existing school policy to address sexual violence and harassment, and other related forms of violence among youth, as well as facilitate school and community agency partnerships to enhance strategies for sexual violence prevention. In Phase 1, the team will build capacity for the project through a process of finalizing the research strategy and gathering baseline data from a variety of sources. The formative process will be conducted in a collaborative, community-engaged approach, with the support of a Research Advisory Board and local stakeholders. School policies from 6 representative schools will be collected and systematically analyzed in tandem along with multiple sources of publicly available and school provided data. Interviews will be conducted with school administrators, and a series of focus groups will be conducted with students and school staff to assess perceptions of policy implementation. In Phase 2, the research team(s) will collaborate to implement a pilot study of the policy development and technical assistance intervention. This intervention is currently implemented in the RPE work plan in the MY Consent Culture program by RPE-fundee, MOASH, but will be further developed through the formative process. MOASH will partner to develop strategies to provide participating schools with technical assistance to enhance existing school district policies in accordance with best practices. A delayed treatment, mixed methodology design will be utilized to evaluate the efficacy of technical assistance provided to 6 high schools in the pilot study. Technical assistance will be provided by MOASH and other community partners, designed to provide hands-on support in refining and implementing school policy to prevent and respond to sexual violence, teen dating violence, and bullying among students. Half of schools will participate in technical assistance in Year 2 and the remaining half in Year 3. An innovative survey design will be utilized to examine longitudinal outcomes over time. Specifically, assessments of incidence of violence, attitudes towards violence, school climate, and school connectedness will be conducted. These date will be collected from both the MiPHY State-administered online survey and project surveys in schools. Two cohorts of youth in the 7th and 11th grade will be recruited for participation in each year of the study, in alignment with MiPHY administration schedules. Surveys will be administered one time per year for a total of five time points. We will test a conceptual model that posits a causal relationship in which technical assistance around policy refinement and implementation increases coordination of services with community organizations, improves school connectedness, decreases attitudes endorsing violence, and subsequently decreases sexual violence and harassment, teen dating violence, and bullying victimization and perpetration. In Phase 3, a full-scale rigorous evaluation will be conducted, following the same methods, with a sample of 40 schools representing the five geographic regions of the state. If effective, findings from the present research will provide a robust foundation to inform the widespread dissemination of this promising approach to strengthening school violence policy and primary prevention efforts to address multiple and co-occurring forms of violence among youth.

Creating Protective Environments through School Policy Development Y3

Principal Investigator: Megan Hicks

Grant Funder: University of Texas at Arlington

1. Participate in cross-site collaboration on daily tasks of the research project. Participate in the facilitation of team and small group meetings. 2. Assist with the adaptation of measurement tools and data collection protocol. 3. Conduct survey and focus group data collection with students and staff in participating schools. 4. Coordinate participant tracking, data analysis, database management, and data security. 5. Assist with the development and implementation of the intervention strategy, including
development of technical assistance strategies and documentation for process evaluation. 6. Participate in training and supervision of student research staff, including student assistants, volunteers, and interns from WSU, UTA, MSU, and MOASH. 7. Support dissemination of the preliminary results through the academic and community presentations, publications, and research reports to the funder and the school partners. 8. Serve as IRB of record for the project and ensure submission of future amendments. 9. Provide budget oversight, supervise communication efforts, and general program coordination.

Conflict Trauma Technical Assistance for School Districts and School Impact Providers

Principal Investigator: Viktor Burlaka

Grant Funder: Office of Global Michigan

This proposal is a response to an RFQ by Office of Global Michigan State Refugee Program to provide multidisciplinary consultation to newcomer consultants to schools receiving refugee children. This proposal will use work of internationally known experts in refugee and child trauma and its treatment from Wayne State University Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences, College of Education, and School of Social work, to provide optimal consultation required for this sensitive and important work. Importantly, this team has extensive work experience with refugees, specifically refugee children, covering diverse aspects from research of biology and prevalence, to on the ground interventions, training, and treatments. Each member of this team directly works with refugee populations, and those who work with refugees. We have ongoing work with refugees in the research and clinical setting and are aware of their needs, limitations, and special needs. We have several migrant and refugee members on our research team, and continue interventions with refugees of diverse backgrounds. During the project we will be on close contact with the newcomer consultants, schools, and refugees. The team's diverse cultural background, especially related to Afghan and Ukrainian groups, is a strength in the ability for cultural, language, and contextual understanding of the refugees' needs. A multi-stage approach that uplifts educators to not only support their students and families with trauma-informed approaches, but also to support themselves as they carry out this mission.

Evaluating a school-based social and material needs identification system to prevent youth violence involvement

Principal Investigator: Bryan Victor

Grant Funder: University of Michigan

Aim 1: Evaluate associations between school P2P participation and peer violence rates, firearm carriage rates, and child maltreatment rates within the school, stratified by school level (i.e., elementary, middle, high). Aim 2: Assess if chronic absenteeism rates mediate the relationships between school P2P participation, peer violence rates, firearm carriage rates, and child maltreatment rates stratified by school level. Aim 3: Examine school and implementation factors that moderate associations between P2P participation and peer violence, firearm carriage, and maltreatment rates, stratified by school level. Given racial disparities in social/material needs and violence outcomes,5,13 we will evaluate P2P effects among (a) all schools and (b) schools with a predominately non-White and/or Hispanic student body. We will also assess the immediacy of associations, evaluating outcomes both six-months into and at the academic year end. Overall, this study will help determine if school-based social and material needs identification and resource connections equitably and immediately prevent youth violence. Dr. Victor will attend bi-weekly core research team meetings, support data analysis, collaborate with PI Sokol on data merging and cleaning, support manuscript writing, and contribute to disseminating results to school, community, and state partners.