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Building an Ecology of Peace in Urban Communities: Individual level interventions to reduce violence in Jamaica. Nancy G. Guerra & Kirk R. Williams, UC Riverside Julie Meeks-Gardner, University of the West Indies Ian Walker, World Bank University of Lancashire, Preston, UK, June 2009.

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Building an Ecology of Peace in Urban Communities: Individual level interventions to reduce violence in Jamaica

Nancy G. Guerra & Kirk R. Williams, UC Riverside

Julie Meeks-Gardner, University of the West Indies

Ian Walker, World Bank

University of Lancashire, Preston, UK, June 2009





An ecology of danger
An Ecology of Danger

  • Extreme poverty-per capita GDP less than $2,000; 30% of population does not have access to sanitation

  • Transnational shipment of cocaine

  • Slave plantation/colonial heritage-social exclusion

  • Political violence; organized crime (dons)

  • Absence of the “state”—informer fi dead

  • Family stressors-father absent families—Matey Wars

  • Availability of guns (“tools”) 30% travel with weapons

  • Subculture of violence (harsh punishment, revenge)



Individual level programs kingston ymca
Individual-level Programs: danger and violence?Kingston YMCA

  • At-risk boys ages 14 to 16 expelled from regular school. Attend 1-6 school terms.

  • Alternative secondary education curriculum including literacy, math, health education, reproductive health, life skills and computer classes, among other activities.


Two primary evaluation questions
Two Primary Evaluation Questions danger and violence?

  • Do these programs help youth build competencies and prepare for the future?

  • Are these programs (in the context of multiple contextual risk factors) effective in preventing or reducing youth violence?


Methodology
Methodology danger and violence?

  • Administer Jamaica Youth Survey to 128 program participants and 55 wait list controls.

  • Conduct tracer study of 150 youth using propensity score matching not in YMCA (currently underway).


Jamaica youth survey
Jamaica Youth Survey danger and violence?

  • Self report of physical aggression

  • What would make you fight

  • Core competencies

  • Masculine identity


Physical aggression in the last month give date how many times have you
Physical Aggression: In the last month (give date), how many times have you:

Items: Factor Loadings1

Shoved or pushed someone .700

Threatened to hit or physically harm someone .724

Been in a fight and hit someone .672

Thrown something at someone to hurt them .616

Hit or slapped someone .794

Cronbach’s Alpha = .743

1Principal Components Factor Analysis with Oblique Rotation

(Single factor, eigenvalue = 2.475)


What would make you fight would you hit or fight with a male if
What Would Make You Fight: Would you hit or fight with a male if:

Items: Factor Loadings1

He hit you first .645

He shouted at you and called you names .627

He spread rumors or lies about you behind your back .718

He took something of yours without asking .546

You were in angry or in a bad mood .607

You wanted to get revenge .691

He said something bad about a family member .655

Cronbach’s Alpha = .762

1Principal Components Factor Analysis with Oblique Rotation

(Single factor, eigenvalue = 2.897)


What would make you fight would you hit or fight with a female if
What Would Make You Fight: Would you hit or fight with a female if:

Items: Factor Loadings1

She hit you first .565

She shouted at you and called you names .587

She spread rumors or lies about you behind your back .756

She took something of yours without asking .604

You were in angry or in a bad mood .641

You wanted to get revenge .574

She said something bad about a family member .658

Cronbach’s Alpha = .744

1Principal Components Factor Analysis with Oblique Rotation

(Single factor, eigenvalue = 2.771)


Estimated Effects of Masculine Identity Items on Physical Aggression Factor Score (Ordinary Least Squares Regression)

Variables b se t Beta

Violent1 .396* .150 2.640 .193

Ready2 .483* .142 3.401 .249

Constant -.347* .089 -3.899

Adj. R2 .112*

1Being violent is a “man ting”

2Men must be ready to use violence at any time

*p<.05, two-tailed test is statistical significance


Estimated Effects of Masculine Identity Items and What Would Make You Fight Scales (MUF) on Physical Aggression Factor Score (OLS)

Variables b se t Beta

Violent1 .203 .136 1.493 .099

Ready2 .163 .134 1.216 .084

Male MUF .310* .074 4.189 .334

Female MUF .202* .074 2.730 .214

Constant -.181* .082 -2.207

Adj. R2 .302

1Being violent is a “man ting”

2Men must be ready to use violence at any time

*p<.05, two-tailed test is statistical significance


Program exposure
Program Exposure Make You Fight Scales (MUF) on Physical Aggression Factor Score (OLS)

N %

0=No exposure (comparison group) 55 30.1

1=Less than six months 58 31.7

2=Six months-1 year 35 19.1

3=Over 1 year 35 19.1


Estimated Effects of Masculine Identity Items, MUF Scales, and Program Exposure on Physical Aggression Factor Score (OLS)

Variables b se t Beta

Violent1 .204 .135 1.511 .100

Ready2 .175 .133 1.316 .090

Male MUF .294* .074 3.973 .316

Female MUF .223* .074 3.014 .235

Program Exposure -.109* .105 -1.982 -.126

Constant -.181* .082 -2.207

Adj. R2 .314

1Being violent is a “man ting”

2Men must be ready to use violence at any time

*p<.05, two-tailed test is statistical significance


The program helped to become better at
The program helped to become better at: and Program Exposure on Physical Aggression Factor Score (OLS)

  • Helping others who have an argument to work it out peacefully and dealing with myself when I am angry.

  • Coming up with creative ways of working out a problem or something that is hard to do (unusual, not normal).

  • Connecting with other people on a deeper level. (Developing close friendships/ Becoming close friends with others).

  • Having a high opinion and being considerate of myself and others.

  • Managing my own life, and taking responsibility for things and people.

  • Planning what I will be doing in the future.

    74.4% (of 128 participants) claimed the program helped “quite a bit” or “a great deal” across these items!


The program changed my life for the better 1
The program changed my life for the better and Program Exposure on Physical Aggression Factor Score (OLS)1

N %

No change 4 3.1

Somewhat or a lot 124 96.9

1(gone back to school, working harder in school, wasn’t working but now I am, helping in my community, providing leadership in my school and community)


The program changed my future ideas 1
The program changed my future ideas and Program Exposure on Physical Aggression Factor Score (OLS)1

N %

Not at all 11 8.6

Not much 22 17.2

Somewhat or a lot 95 74.2

1(education, jobs, community and volunteer work, leadership in community activities)


In conclusion
In conclusion and Program Exposure on Physical Aggression Factor Score (OLS)

  • ¾ of YMCA program participants felt it changed their life for the better.

  • Increased participation in the YMCA program was associated with decreases in physical aggression.


Thank you
Thank you! and Program Exposure on Physical Aggression Factor Score (OLS)


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