Grantees

Can barrier reduction subsidies help reduce youth delinquency and improve population health? A Randomized Controlled Trial in Wilmington, Delaware

Project Summary: 

The researchers are conducting a randomized control trial (RCT) to test the impacts of a youth violence prevention/employment program and a barrier reduction subsidy on youth violence and other health-related outcomes. Both interventions are offered to youth at-risk of involvement in the criminal justice system. The youth violence prevention and employment program includes an after-school curriculum followed by subsidized employment. The barrier reduction subsidy is distributed weekly and is meant to reduce the barriers that youth face to participating in programming and to engaging in health-promoting and prosocial activities. The researchers are estimating the impact of each intervention separately and together on physical and mental health, health behaviors, school attendance and disciplinary actions, and program participation, as well as secondary outcomes like criminal involvement, educational attainment, employment, and financial health. Results from this study will inform youth violence prevention programs and other programs such as those that focus on educational attainment, health, and financial education.

Outcomes:

Table 1: Outcomes of Interest

Variable

Data Source

Pre

Monthly

Post

Primary outcomes                                                       

Physical and mental health

(Injury from victimization; Emergency room utilization; Trauma)

 

Survey

 

X

 

X

 

X

Health behaviors

(Drug and alcohol use; Engagement in physical fights)

 

Survey

 

X

 

X

 

X

School attendance and disciplinary actions

(In school (y/n); Number of missed days; Number of in school suspensions; Number of out of school suspensions; Number of other disciplinary actions)

 

Administrative, Survey

 

X

 

X

 

X

Program Participation

(Number of after school sessions attended; Number of hours worked through subsidized employment; Self-reported engagement in programming; participation in other programs)

 

Administrative, Survey

 

X

 

X

 

X

Secondary outcomes

Criminal History

(Arrests; Convictions; Incarcerations)

 

Survey

 

X

 

X

 

X

Educational Attainment

(Percent of assignments completed; Grade point average; Standardized test scores; Matriculation)

 

Administrative, Survey

 

X

 

X

 

X

Employment

(Status: employed/unemployed; hours worked per week; salary/wage)

 

Administrative, Survey

 

X

 

X

 

X

Financial health

(Has a bank account (Y/N); Amount in savings; Financial literacy)

 

Survey

 

X

 

X

 

X

 

Methodology:

Participants are randomly assigned into cohorts to receive either the after-school curriculum followed by subsidized employment; the barrier reduction subsidy; the after-school curriculum with the barrier reduction subsidy followed by subsidized employment; or programming after the completion of the study (the control group). The researchers are analyzing differences between cohorts using a fixed-effects model to estimate the impact of the programming, the barrier reduction subsidy, and the combination of the two on the outcomes of interest.

Principal Investigators: 

Christina Stacy, PhD

Grant Start Date: 
October 2019
Award Amount & Duration: 

$436,244 & 33 months