This final report describes a project that was a comprehensive and multi-partner response to ongoing youth violence-related challenges in Baltimore City Public Schools, led by the school system, with research, evaluation, and training supports from two nearby universities and mental health services and implementation support from Sheppard Pratt Health System.
In this document, the authors report on a comprehensive, multi-partner response to challenges faced by Baltimore City Public Schools (BCPS) regarding ongoing youth violence. The overarching goal of the project was to determine the impact of the Coping Power in the City (CPIC) Program, an indicated preventive intervention for youth screened at-risk of aggression, based on the early adolescent and elementary versions of the Coping Power Program. Specifically, CPIC was culturally- and contextually-adapted for Black early adolescents transitioning to high school in Baltimore City, and built on a developmentally-adapted middle school version. The three major goals of the project were to: develop and refine the existing evidence-based Coping Power model and assess the acceptability and feasibility of the integrated approach among 9th graders and BCPS police officers; test the efficacy of Coping Power for improving student mental health and school safety, and reducing aggressive behavior through a randomized control trial (RCT); and evaluate the broader impacts of the multi-component CPIC initiative on officer knowledge and student behaviors and perceptions. Preliminary findings suggest that CPIC students demonstrated greater teacher-reported adaptive skills at follow-up than comparison students, however CPIC did not appear to impact student- or teacher-reported emotional or behavioral outcomes, nor did CPIC impact student perceptions of police officers. Findings did highlight the need for training officers if police are deployed to schools, to ensure the role of officers in urban schools is beneficial.
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