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Research and Evaluation on Victims of Crime

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2016, $225,000)

The purpose of this study is to generate novel information among understudied at-risk populations regarding the prevalence and risk factors for adolescent relationship abuse (ARA) victimization and perpetration; and to investigate whether distal factors (e.g. neighborhood disadvantage and crime) in the social-ecological model are predictors of ARA—or mediated by proximal factors (e.g. compromised mental health, or CMH). Our goal is to investigate how factors across levels of the social ecology moderate and mediate the relationships between at-risk status and ARA over 4 years—where at-risk status is defined by (a) mental illness symptomology, (b) self-reported sexual orientation, (c) parental relationships, (d) parenting style, and (e) the characteristics of residential neighborhoods. Our objectives, with attention to gender differences, are to (1) Investigate baseline CMH status as a predictor of ARA victimization and perpetration trajectories; (2) Determine how neighborhood disadvantage and interpersonal crime affect ARA victimization trajectories; (3) Determine whether CMH mediates the relationship between neighborhood disadvantage and ARA trajectories; (4) Assess whether the associations between CMH and ARA trajectories, neighborhood disadvantage/interpersonal crime and ARA trajectories, and CMH, neighborhood disadvantage/interpersonal crime and ARA trajectories differ by (i) self-reported sexual orientation, (ii) parent-child relationship quality, and (iii) parenting style. Subjects are youth (n=2,354, ages 10-18 at 2013 baseline) from four annual waves of the nationally representative Survey of Teen Relationships and Intimate Violence (STRiV). Geocoded data on neighborhood economic disadvantage and crime will be merged from the American Community Survey and CrimeRisk. The study will investigate the following hypotheses: (H1) CMH and neighborhood characteristics will both increase ARA victimization and perpetration risk across data waves; (H2) CMH will partially mediate the relationship between neighborhood characteristics and ARA risk and trajectories; (H3) The associations described in H1 and H2 will be especially pronounced among youth who a) are not heterosexual, b) have poor relationships with their parents, and c) have parents exhibiting critical or harsh parenting styles. We will apply latent growth models to: (a) assess how ARA risk changes over time (2013-2016); and (b) determine how our proposed risk factors--independently and as mediators or moderators--impact ARA trajectories. We will generate practitioner-focused publications in the public health and criminal justice fields; conferences presentations; progress reports; an archived dataset; and a final report. We will also disseminate project results to practitioners, educators, policymakers, and researchers through online portals and peer-reviewed journals. ca/ncf
Date Created: September 18, 2016