Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2016, $499,863)
Statement of the Problem: Research on how factors at the neighborhood, family, school, and individual level interact to influence the trajectory of school violence is limited. RMC Research, with support from the Oregon Youth Authority and the Oregon Department of Education, will conduct a study using an existing dataset that includes14 cohorts of students between Kindergarten and Grade 12 (estimated at 1,343,591 students) and 10-12 staff at two Oregon high schools that experienced a school shooting. This study is guided by four questions:
1. What are the potential root causes and related factors that contribute to school violence?
2. What are the disciplinary responses to school violence, and are rates of suspensions and expulsions equivalent across demographic subgroups of students?
3. What is the sequence of events that lead from a school-related disciplinary incident to an arrest and to juvenile or adult court involvement and disposition, and which individual, family, school, and neighborhood factors influence this trajectory?
4. What are the responses to and consequences of shootings in K-12 public settings?
Questions 1 through 3 will be addressed using a multi-level cohort design with longitudinal data provided by the Oregon Youth Authority. This robust dataset includes more than 15 years of de-identified longitudinal individual-level data from at least 11 state agencies including, but not limited to, the Oregon Health Authority, Department of Education, the Oregon Youth Authority, and the Department of Human Services. Question 4 will be addressed through interviews with school staff, student achievement data, and publicly available school data. Analytic techniques for Questions 1 through 3 include multilevel modeling and mixture modeling that take into account both within-individual and between-individual differences and account for clustered data at the school and neighborhood level. Data from all sources related to Question 4 will be triangulated and qualitatively reported as two case studies.
Findings from this study will be used to submit manuscripts for publication to peer-reviewed scientific journals and will be disseminated to practitioner audiences via webinars or, if requested, through on-site presentations or webinars with the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. RMC Research will also develop a brief guide for educators and community practitioners that outlines early warning indicators by age, race, gender, type of violent behavior and the types of protective factors that have been found to mitigate risk for violent behavior. Data will be archived with the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data. ca/ncf