Analysis of Data from the Metropolitan Area Child Study

Principal Investigator at Michigan: L. Rowell Huesmann; Collaborators: Paul Boxer (Rutgers University), Nancy Guerra (University of California Riverside), Pat Tolan (University of Illinois at Chicago), David Henry (University of Illinois at Chicago), and Rick VanAcker (University of Illinois at Chicago).

Funding Agencies

National Institute of Mental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Internal Funds.

Project Summary

This project involves secondary analysis of data from a large-scale longitudinal, field experiment in Chicago. The major aims of the analyses are to increase the understanding of the etiology and prevention of aggressive and violent interpersonal behavior by 1) evaluating the impact of three complementary, multi-year preventive interventions for high-risk, urban youth,  2) analyzing the patterns of growth in aggressive behavior in these youth as a function of other factors in their environment, and 3) analyze the mediating role of social cognitions in the development of aggressive behavior.. Sixteen schools and over 7,000 children from high-risk neighborhoods in the Chicago area participated between 1990 and 1997 in the study. Results analyzed and published to date have demonstrated that such interventions are effective prevention tools in supportive environments and change both behaviors and social cognitions, that exposure to neighborhood violence causes increases in subsequent aggression independently of any intervention, and that small group interventions may have unexpected effects. Data analyses are expected to continue for multiple years.