Jan 6, 2022
Evaluating a Community-Based Violence Prevention Program: Impacts at the Individual and Community Level
This study represents an evaluation of Aim4Peace (A4P), a comprehensive, multi-component community-based initiative supporting violence prevention and intervention in Kansas City, Missouri (KCMO). A4P includes multiple components aimed at detecting, interrupting, and/or preventing community violence and is guided by a community-based participatory approach.
The study has two overarching aims. The first aim is to examine the implementation of the A4P program over a 13-year period to understand the impacts of the program and to add to the corpus of research examining Cure Violence (CV)—the model of violence intervention employed by A4P. The second aim is to determine what programmatic adjustments can be made by using a community-based participatory approach to better serve the local population.
A quasi-experimental interrupted time-series design with a non-equivalent comparison group was identified by community members and researchers as the most appropriate. The A4P program was implemented in the East Patrol District, an area of KCMO with historically high rates of firearm homicide and aggravated assault, other patrol districts in KCMO with similar demographic composition and rates of violence will serve as comparison groups. The study has three primary outcomes of interest: (1) changes in rates of firearm homicide over time; (2) A4P contribution to community/systems changes related to gun violence; and (3) changes in participant risk and protective factors for violence. Outcomes of interest will be compared across intervention and comparison areas.
The current evaluation represents a longitudinal study of the CV model, filling a gap in the extant research. The evaluation also coincides with increasing rates of firearm violence locally and nationally—the rate of homicide in KCMO has doubled since 2014—leading to increased demand for viable means of violence reduction. This evaluation, then, may impact how violence prevention is approached and funded locally and has implications for the effectiveness of the CV model broadly.
Josh Harsin is a graduate student in the joint MPH/Behavioral Psychology PhD program at the University of Kansas. Employing behavioral community psychology—a contextualistic, ecological, and participatory approach—Harsin's research interests include public health policy, violence prevention, racial and ethnic disparities in health outcomes, and racial and economic justice. Harsin is currently supervised by Dr. Jomella Watson-Thompson in the Center for Community Health and Development.
- Grant Amount
- Award Type
- University of Kansas
- Josh Harsin, graduate student, MPH/Behavioral Psychology PhD program at the University of Kansas.
- Expected Completion Date
- July 2023
- Focus Areas