Current Research Projects

In addition to the information services and technical assistance services, CSPV also maintains a basic research function. Secondary analyses of data, development of research pilot projects, and support of research committed to violence prevention are the primary research target areas of the Center. Such research activities are critical to addressing the voids and weaknesses in the adolescent violence research literature and, in turn, to provide credible information to guide developments in violence prevention and treatment policies and programs.

Our current projects include:

Past Research Projects

Blueprints Dissemination (1998-1999)

With funding from the Metropolitan Life Foundation CSPV initiated a broad-based national dissemination effort for the Blueprints series. The dissemination effort included traditional marketing and communication avenues such as mass mailings and public service announcements. During this project, CSPV developed the Blueprints web site to provide detailed information on each of the Blueprints Model and Promising programs. Also during this project, a query system was created to help users identify appropriate violence prevention programs that match specific community needs.

The Challenge Newsletter (2005-2011)

CSPV produced The Challenge newsletter under a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools (OSDFS) to promote topics related to youth safety and health. During this project, the newsletter was distributed nationally to more than 60,000 K-12 educators and prevention specialists. It is available online at

Colorado Homeland Security (2003-2010)

CSPV contracted with the Colorado Governor's Office of Homeland Security to assist in the statewide data collection efforts on risk, vulnerabilities and capabilities. CSPV assisted the State and the Colorado All-Hazard Emergency Management regions with strategic planning in order to align the state's efforts with the standards and requirements established at the federal level. This work included drafting the Colorado State Homeland Security Strategy, developing the state's annual grant application to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and assisting the State Planning Manager with capabilities-based planning efforts at both the state and local level.

Comprehensive Evaluation Plan (1997-2001)

This project, funded by a grant from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, Community Partnership Office, conducted a longitudinal evaluation to assess the impact of Youth Crime Prevention and Intervention (YCPI) programs on rates of crime, violence and substance abuse in communities throughout Colorado. These evaluations provided feedback to the programs to improve program effectiveness. The project delivered a comprehensive evaluation plan that specified evaluation objectives, procedures and standards from crime and violence prevention programs. That plan also provided a basis for establishing a collaborative and supportive environment using clear goals and expectations to help programs operate more effectively.

Domestic Violence Project (1997-2000)

In conjunction with the Colorado Office of Probation Services, CSPV evaluated the reliability and validity of measures of the risk of repeated domestic violence obtained at the time of sentencing. A validated instrument to predict risk of subsequent domestic violence among offenders was developed by Probation Services. Probation and court officers in Colorado use this instrument to determine future treatment. By providing judges and probation officers a means to employ more reliable and valid information about future risks of domestic violence offenders, the project contributed to the development of policies and treatments that protect victims from further incidents of domestic violence and increase public safety.

Lethal and Non-Lethal Adolescent Violence (1996-2000)

This research project was funded through the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and was conducted by CSPV in collaboration with the School of Public Health at Columbia University. An analysis of the data file from the FBI's Supplementary Homicide Report was conducted to identify the contributing risk to adolescent violence. This study tested a model of urban social isolation and structural change on adolescent homicide and violence rates.

School-Based Preparedness and Intervention Programs (2006-2009)

To assess the preparedness and vulnerabilities of schools, the National Center for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) was funded by the Department of Homeland Security to conduct social and behavioral science research on the prediction, detection, and prevention of terrorist attacks. This research involved the collection of information on community and school preparedness for all hazards, including terrorism-related events. The University of Colorado at Boulder was a core university in this research effort. Primary findings included:

  • More than 90% of school and district administrators reported having a crisis response plan and crisis response team compared to less than 40% that had a recovery plan and recovery team.
  • Fewer than 65% of school and district administrators reported that it was "very true" that their emergency response plan followed an all hazards approach.
  • About one fourth of school (26%) and district (21%) administrators reported that their plans did not include planning for terrorist threats (such as chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive incidents).
  • About half of school (50%) and district (30%) administrators reported that their plans did not include provisions for dealing with a pandemic.
  • Only 57% of principals and 50% of district superintendents reported that their emergency plans included provisions for students with special needs had been "completely implemented." And only 52% of principals and 46% of superintendents reported that their emergency plans included provisions for students with medical needs had been "completely implemented."

Violence in American Schools (1994-1998)

Funded by the W.T. Grant Foundation, CSPV identified nationally known experts from a range of disciplines (public health, criminology, ecology, and developmental psychology) to review the latest research on the causes of youth violence in the nation's schools and communities and on school-based interventions that have prevented or reduced it. They described and evaluated strategies for the prevention and treatment of violence that go beyond punishment and incarceration. The volume offers a new strategy for the problem of youth violence, arguing that the most effective interventions use a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary approach and take into account differences in stages of individual development and involvement in overlapping social contexts, families, peer groups, schools, and neighborhoods. To order, please visit: Cambridge University Press. Table of Contents include:

  • Violence in American Schools: An Overview, Delbert S. Elliott, Beatrix Hamburg, & Kirk R. Williams
  • Youth Violence is a Public Health Concern, Margaret A. Hamburg
  • Social Contexts and Functions of Adolescent Violence, Jeffrey Fagan & Deanna L. Wilkinson
  • Juvenile Aggression at Home and at School, Rolf Loeber & Magda Stouthamer-Loeber
  • The Interdependence of School Violence with Neighborhood and Family Conditions, John H. Laub & Janet L. Lauritsen
  • Preventing Firearm Violence in and around Schools, James A. Mercy & Mark L. Rosenberg
  • Reducing Violence through the Schools, J. David Hawkins, David P. Farrington, & Richard F. Catalano
  • Evaluation of School-Based Violence Prevention Programs , Faith Samples & Larry Aber
  • Safe School Planning, Ronald D. Stephens
  • Exposure to Urban Violence: Contamination of the School Environment, Raymond P. Lorion
  • Community Policing, Schools, and Mental Health: the Challenge of Collaboration, Steven Marans & Mark Schaefer
  • Tailoring Established After-School Programs to Meet Urban Realities, Marcia R. Chaiken
  • An Integrated Approach to Violence Prevention, Delbert S. Elliott, Kirk R. Williams, & Beatrix Hamburg

Violence Prevention Initiative (1995-2000)

CSPV received funding from The Colorado Trust to provide technical assistance to grantees in the Colorado Trust's Violence Prevention Initiative. Originally, The Colorado Trust provided grant funds to more than 20 organizations throughout Colorado to plan and/or implement violence prevention programs. CSPV provided individualized assistance to the grantees in the areas of program planning, implementation and evaluation.

Youth Handgun Violence Prevention Project (1997-2002)

The Youth Handgun Violence Prevention Project began in response to concerns about a growing problem of Colorado youth with handguns. The concerns came from grantees participating in the Youth Violence Initiative that began in 1995 funded by The Colorado Trust. In 1997 The Colorado Trust funded CSPV to examine the following: 1) document the nature and extent of youth handgun violence in Colorado and nationally, 2) determine what youth and adults in Colorado think about the handgun problem and its possible solutions, and 3) identify effective programs to prevent youth handgun violence. Youth and adults in Colorado communities confirmed increasing prevalence and use of handguns by youth in their communities as well as widespread accessibility to handguns. Youth felt that there was little that could be done to prevent or reduce youth handgun violence; however adults were optimistic that the problem could be addressed with a concerted effort. Surprisingly, the study found widespread efforts to reduce youth handgun violence, though few had been evaluated with any rigor.

In 1999, The Colorado Trust provided additional funding to the Youth Handgun Violence Prevention Project to design, implement, and evaluate three programs aimed at reducing youth handgun violence. Results of the evaluation are available in: Williams, K.W., & Mattson, S.A. (2006, Summer). Qualitative lessons from a community-based violence prevention project with null findings. New Directions for Evaluation, 110, 5-17.