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Young Men of Color''s Help-Seeking Following Violent Victimization

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $578,816)

Statement of the Problem: Young men of color experience high rates of violent victimization. This burden of victimization carries with it the negative effects of trauma including psychological distress, physical health problems, and disruption to daily life including in relationships and work. Victims of violence sometimes seek out formal support, such as counseling, in the wake of a traumatic event to help them heal. However, the limited research on the help-seeking in young men of color, suggests that they are less likely to access these formal services than other demographics. Help-seeking is influenced by a range of factors including the availability of services and the individual’s sociocultural context. Therefore, in order to more effectively engage young men of color in victims services, this project will develop the field’s understanding of their needs, their help-seeking behavior, and the sociocultural context that influences this behavior.

Research Design and Methods: The researchers will use a collaborative research approach where the research team will be Vera researchers in partnership with community researchers who are themselves young men of color who have experienced violence. The research will answer the following questions using a mixed-methods approach: 1) What types of support, including informal support, do young men of color seek out after they have experienced violence?, 2) How do young men of color perceive themselves as in need of (or not in need of) formal support following experiences of violence?, 3) How do they perceive professionals in agencies that can provide victim services (e.g. the police, medical professionals, trauma counsellors)?, and 4) How does social context shape young men of color’s perceptions of need and access to formal and informal support? To answer these questions, the research team will conduct 150 interviews with young men of color who have experienced violence, 50 interviews with formal and informal service providers, and analyze data from the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS).

Analysis: Data collected during interviews will be transcribed and analyzed using a grounded theory approach. Data from the NCVS will be analyzed using descriptive statistics and multivariate regression.

Final Products: The community researchers and Vera will work together to develop a dissemination plan. However, the plan will include academic publications, policy briefs, conference presentations, and presentations to community service providers. The data collected during this study will be achieved according to NIJ guidelines.

Note: This project contains a research and/or development component, as defined in applicable law.


Date Created: September 27, 2015