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Community Psychology: An Example Examining Violence Prevention Program Effects on Urban Youth. Susan McMahon, Ph.D. Professor and Chair, Psychology smcmahon@depaul.edu DePaul University Chicago, Illinois USA November 24, 2011 Presented to Dogus University Istanbul, Turkey.

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community psychology an example examining violence prevention program effects on urban youth

Community Psychology:An Example Examining Violence Prevention Program Effects on Urban Youth

Susan McMahon, Ph.D.

Professor and Chair, Psychology

smcmahon@depaul.edu

DePaul University

Chicago, Illinois USA

November 24, 2011

Presented to Dogus University

Istanbul, Turkey

community psychology
Community Psychology
  • Some core components that I value and use…..
    • Values
      • Diversity, creating positive change to improve well-being, focus on underserved populations, action orientation
    • Theories
      • Systems & interconnections
      • Individuals are nested within settings at multiple levels
    • Skills
      • Program evaluation, consultation, collaboration, group-facilitation, critical thinking, problem solving
slide3

Prevention

    • Many more problems than we can address through traditional treatment approaches
    • Demonstrated effective on cost-effective
  • Empowerment
    • Facilitate feelings of control and abilities to create change and improve situation
    • Individual, group, organizational, community
depaul programs
DePaul Programs
  • Ph.D. Programs
    • Clinical Program (established in 1967; 2 tracks)
      • Clinical-Child
      • Clinical-Community
    • Community Program (established in 2000)
  • Undergraduate Community Concentration
    • Focus: develop theory, knowledge, skills, & experience to work with diverse, urban, underserved populations
ph d curriculum core requirements
Ph.D. Curriculum & Core Requirements
  • Core Community Courses
    • Community Psychology (2)
    • Principles of Consultation
    • Seminar in Program Evaluation
    • Field Work (spans 2 years)
    • Grant Writing
    • Seminar in Prevention & Intervention Methods
    • Empowerment or Health Psychology
    • Diversity
    • Psychology of Women or Social Psychology
  • Core Statistics/Research Methods
    • Statistics I, Statistics II, Research Methods
    • Factor Analysis, Multivariate, Mixed Methods, Qualitative (2)
  • 4 electives in any area
  • Master’s Thesis
  • Comprehensive Examination or Project
  • Internship (for clinical-community program)
  • Doctoral Dissertation
undergraduate community psychology concentration
Undergraduate Community Psychology Concentration
  • Common psychology core:
    • Introductory Psychology I
    • Introductory Psychology II
    • Introductory Statistics
    • Research Methods Sequence (2)
    • History & Systems in Psychology
  • Community Core
    • Community Psychology
    • Principles of Field Research and Action
    • Field Work in Community Research and Action - 2 course internship sequence
  • Diversity
    • Psychology of Women, Psychology of Men, Cultural Issues in Psychology, Psychology of the African-American Child (1)
  • Other Core Psych
    • Social Psychology, Industrial and Organizational Psychology (1)
    • Child Psychology, Adolescent Psychology (1)
    • Theories of Personality, Abnormal Psychology (1)
scra resources connections
SCRA Resources & Connections
  • SCRA (Society for Community Research & Action; APA Division 27)
    • http://www.scra27.org/
    • Educational program list
  • My role: Regional Network Coordinator
    • Enhance national & international networks
    • Provide leadership & communication regarding membership; Organize International Regional Liaisons (IRLs)& Regional Coordinators
  • Europe IRL’s
    • Faculty, graduate student, and undergraduate student openings
school based violence prevention with african american youth
School-Based Violence Prevention with African American Youth
  • Began work in 1996
  • Schools approached Mental Health Center for services to address violence
  • Combined research, training, and service
    • Clinical students work in community as part of their practica experience
  • Focus on underserved population with high rates of violence and poverty
youth violence
Youth Violence
  • Significant problem
  • Youth are both victims and perpetrators
  • Over 1/3 of homicides in the U.S. are committed by youth
  • Urban minority youth are at particular risk
exposure to violence
Exposure to Violence
  • Numerous negative outcomes
    • Anxiety disorders
    • Depression
    • Low self-esteem
    • Aggressive & violent behavior
      • Academic
      • Family dysfunction
      • Substance abuse
      • Interpersonal difficulties
      • Peer rejection
      • Involvement in juvenile justice system
      • Aggression: stable across time
theoretical underpinnings
Theoretical Underpinnings
  • What are the mediating factors that contribute to the impact of exposure to violence on aggressive behavior?
  • Social information processing theory (Huesmann, 1998)
    • Interactions with environment combine with personal factors to make certain schemas & scripts more likely
    • External Events
    • Cognitive Filters
      • Normative Beliefs about Aggression
        • Retaliatory
        • General
        • Street Code
      • Self-Efficacy to control aggression
theoretical model

Community Violence Exposure

Belief in

Retaliation

Self-Efficacy

Aggressive

Behavior

Theoretical Model

χ2 df p RMSEA RMR GFI AGFI CFI

Model (Cross-sect) 3.97 2 0.14 0.09 0.04 0.98 0.92 0.97

Model (longitudinal) 3.79 2 0.15 0.10 0.04 0.98 0.90 0.96

environmental ecology
Environmental Ecology
  • Neighborhood
    • Norms
    • Acceptability of & Exposure to violence
  • School culture
    • Socially shared knowledge, norms, & values
    • Can influence new programs
  • Sense of belonging
    • Links to well-being
violence prevention
Violence Prevention
  • Over 150 programs available
  • Few programs with empirical support
  • Few evaluations with urban, at-risk youth
  • Second Step
    • Widely used skills-based curriculum
    • Highly rated
    • Specific developmental curricula
      • Pre-kindergarten (28 sessions) to 8th grade (15 sessions)
    • Modest empirical support
components of second step a violence prevention program
Components of Second Step: A Violence Prevention Program
  • Knowledge
  • Empathy
  • Impulse Control
  • Anger Management
  • Problem Solving
  • Applying Skills
  • Role plays, video vignettes, puppets
study 1 preschool kindergarten children
Study 1: Preschool & Kindergarten Children
  • Participants
    • 109 African American and Latino children
  • Settings
    • 3 preschool classrooms & 2 kindergarten classrooms
    • Serve housing development residents that differ from 1 another in terms of size, diversity, & culture
    • Poverty & Violence
  • Pre-test/Post-test design
    • Pre-test in the Fall; Post-test in the Spring
    • Curriculum implemented during academic year by teachers and graduate students
preliminary analyses
Preliminary Analyses
  • Settings differed by age and race
  • Females scored higher at pre-test on SSRS Social Skills
  • Older children scored higher at pre-test on SSRS Problem Behaviors
implications
Implications
  • Preliminary support for this program with this population
    • Children learned many concepts
    • Problem behaviors decreased from pre-test to post-test
      • Setting Differences
      • Teacher:child ratio
        • Preschool student: teacher ratio 4:1
        • Kindergarten student:teacher ratio 27:1
        • More opportunities to reinforce program concepts
      • Developmental differences
    • Findings consistent with few existing studies
study 2 violence prevention with middle school students
Study 2: Violence Prevention with Middle School Students
  • Method
    • Community & Schools
      • Public housing development residents
      • Two public elementary schools
    • Participants
      • 156 students completed pretest
      • 149 students completed posttest
      • 64% female
      • 5th-8th grade
      • Ages 11-14
training implementation
Training & Implementation
  • CPS teachers & DePaul staff
    • 4 hours of training
    • Co-teaching model
      • Co-taught 1st 8 sessions
      • Transfer of training
    • Weekly or bi-weekly meetings
  • Implementation
  • Program Monitoring
hypotheses
Hypotheses
  • Aggressive Behavior
  • Impulsivity
  • Knowledge & skills
  • Prosocial Behavior
  • Empathy
measures1
Measures
  • Knowledge
    • Second Step Knowledge and Skill Survey
  • Aggressive Behavior
    • Aggressive Behavior Scale, self-report
    • Teacher Checklist, teacher-report
    • Peer Rating, peer-report
  • Prosocial Behavior
    • Teacher Checklist, teacher-report
    • Peer rating, peer-report
  • Empathy Scale
  • Impulsivity
  • Psychological Sense of School Membership Questionnaire
preliminary analyses1
Preliminary Analyses
  • Examined potential pretest differences:
    • school
    • grade
    • gender
  • Differences found, so these variables taken into account in all analyses
  • Correlations
    • Higher teacher-rated aggression
      • lower knowledge
      • lower teacher-rated prosocial behavior
      • higher self-rating of aggression & impulsivity
    • Higher peer-rated aggression
      • higher self-rating of aggression
      • lower knowledge
  • Construct validity
analyses
Analyses
  • Repeated measures ANOVAs
    • Knowledge
    • Empathy
    • Impulsivity
    • Sense of school membership
  • Repeated measures MANOVAs
    • Aggression (teacher, peer, self)
    • Prosocial behavior (teacher, peer)
knowledge skill survey
Knowledge & Skill Survey
  • Wilk’s  = .93, F (1,123) = 8.73, p = .004
teacher checklist aggression
Teacher Checklist-Aggression
  • Wilk’s L = .90, F (3,71) = 2.70, p = .052
  • F (1,73) = 6.58, p = .012
teacher checklist prosocial
Teacher Checklist-Prosocial
  • Wilk’s L = .88, F (2,85) = 5.74, p = .005
  • F (1,86) = 7.88, p = .006
teacher checklist prosocial by school
Teacher Checklist-Prosocial by School

Wilk’s L = .93, F (2,85) = 3.21, p = .045

F (1,86) = 5.70, p = .019

empathy
Empathy
  • Wilk’s L = .96, F (1,90) = 4.13, p = .045
empathy by school
Empathy by School
  • Wilk’s L = .93, F (1,90) = 6.69, p = .011
school membership
School Membership
  • F (1,86) = 6.384, p = .013
discussion
Discussion
  • Some success in teaching:
    • Knowledge & skills
    • Empathy
    • Prosocial behavior (teacher-report)
  • Replication of previous research
    • Mixed support
  • Increase in empathy
    • Predictive of decreases in aggression
importance of school context
Importance of school context
  • Most consistent influence
  • School B
    • Increase in prosocial behavior
    • Increase in empathy
    • Increase in sense of school membership
  • Other differences between schools?
    • School A has 4 times the % of chronic truants
    • Teacher characteristics?
    • Implementation issues?
strengths limitations
Strengths & Limitations
  • Strengths
    • High-risk students & community
    • Need for prevention
    • Few evaluations
    • Multiple reporters
    • Theory-based outcomes
  • Limitations
    • Lack of a control group
    • Longitudinal, but only across one year
    • Missing data
    • Measurement of some constructs
implications1
Implications
  • Consider school & teacher variables
  • Explore & integrate ecological factors
    • Intra-individual skills deficits
    • Ethnic/racial identity
    • “Code of the streets”
  • Explore & evaluate cultural & community specific components
  • Need to better understand what interventions are effective under what conditions for whom