University of Chicago Professors Jens Ludwig & Harold Pollack discuss #CrimeLab research on slowing down to reduce violence on NPR

On the Knife's Edge: Using Therapy To Address Violence Among Teens

The fight was over a pair of gym shoes. One teenager faces years in prison. The other — the 15-year-old grandson of Congressman Danny Davis — is dead.

We often hear stories about murders sparked by trivial disputes. And we also hear the same solutions proposed year after year: harsher punishments, more gun control.

But what if science can help us find new solutions? Can understanding how we make decisions help us prevent these tragedies?

In moments of anger, it can be hard to heed the advice to take a deep breath or count to ten. But public health researcher Harold Pollack says that "regret comes almost as fast as anger," and that five minutes of reflection can make all the difference between a regular life and one behind bars.

This week, Harold Pollack and Jens Ludwig tell us about the research they do at the University of Chicago's Crime Lab. They worked with a program called BAM (Becoming a Man) to look at what happens when teenagers participate in cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT.

We hear from students in the program and examine the results of Pollack and Ludwig's research. They found that changing the way we think can change the way we behave — and changing the way we behave can change our lives. This week, we put that idea to the test.

Hidden Brain is hosted by Shankar Vedantam and produced by Maggie Penman, Jennifer Schmidt, Rhaina Cohen, and Renee Klahr. Our intern is Chloe Connelly, and our supervising producer is Tara Boyle. You can follow us on Twitter @hiddenbrain, and listen for Hidden Brain stories each week on your local public radio station.

 

Listen here: http://www.npr.org/2017/02/21/512035150/on-the-knifes-edge-using-therapy-to-address-violence-among-teens

NAF Recognized for High Quality, Data Driven Program by Up2Us Sports

UP2US SPORTS HOST SITES COLLECT HIGH QUALITY DATA

Up2Us Coach host sites participate in data collection to measure the benefits of a coach trained in Sports Based Youth Development for youth health and life skills. Data collection includes youth fitness tests (the PACER) and youth surveys measuring the High Impact Attributes, a group of positive attributes connected to the sport experience and to positive life outcomes.  Up2Us Sports would like to recognize the four Up2Us Coach host sites below for collecting high quality data and achieving great results for their youth!

Starfinder Foundation

Starfinder Foundation is based in Philadelphia and has hosted coaches through Up2Us Sports since 2014.  Starfinder has also hosted an AmeriCorps VISTA and has been active in many Up2Us Sports trainings since 2014.  During the 2015-2016 program year, youth participants who worked with Up2Us Sports coaches had the following results:

  • 86% of participants improved on the PACER
  • The average PACER score improved by 14 laps
  • At the end of the program, 85% of participants were in the Healthy Fitness Zone compared to 64% at the start of the program
  • 87% of youth improved in one or more positive attribute
  • 94% of participants report that they trust their coach
  • 93% of participants report that their coach is a good role model
  • 98% of participants report that the program helps them to be healthy
  • 95% of participants report that the things they learned in the program will help them in their lives

Noah’s Arc Foundation

Noah’s Arc Foundation is based in Chicago and has hosted Up2Us Sports coaches since 2014. During the 2015-2016 program year, youth participants who worked with the Up2Us Sports coach had the following results:

  • 95% of youth participants completed both the baseline and endline PACER tests
  • 78% of youth improved their score by at least one lap
  • At the end of the program, 60% of participants were in the Healthy Fitness Zone compared to 40% at the start of the program
  • 84% of participants  completed both the baseline and the endline survey
  • 75% of younger participants and 100% of older participants improved in one or more positive attribute
  • 88% of younger participants reported that they trust their coach and that the program helps them to be healthy
  • 89% of older participants report that the things they learned in the program will help them in their lives

Abramson Sci Academy of the Collegiate Academies Charter School Network

Collegiate Academies is based in New Orleans and has hosted Up2Us Sports coaches since 2012. During the 2015-2016 program year, Abramson Sci Academy had two Up2Us Sports coaches, one who was a returning Up2Us Sports coach. Youth participants who worked with Up2Us Sports coaches had the following results:

  • 83% of participants improved in the PACER by at least one lap
  • At the end of the program, 33% of participants were in the Healthy Fitness Zone compared to 20% at the start of the program
  • 81% of youth improved in one or more positive attribute
  • 100% of participants report that they trust their coach and that their coach is a good role model
  • 98% of participants reported that they go to their coach for help or advice
  • 96% of participants report that the things they learned in the program will help them in their lives and help them to be healthy.

New Orleans Charter Science and Mathematics High School

Sci High is based in New Orleans and has hosted Up2Us Sports coaches since 2012. During the 2015-2016 program year, Sci High hosted one returning Up2Us Sports coach. Youth participants who worked with an Up2Us Sports coach had the following results:

  • The Up2Us Sports coach served 100% female youth
  • 71% of youth participants completed both the baseline and endline PACER tests
  • 84% of youth improved in the PACER by at least one lap
  • The average PACER score improved by 8 laps
  • 82% of youth improved in one or more positive attribute
  • 94% of participants report that they trust their coach and that their coach is a good role model
  • 91% of participants report that the things they learned in the program will help them in their lives

Noah's Arc Executive Director Announcement

We are pleased to announce the hiring of Anna-Claire Whitehead as the new Executive Director of Noah’s Arc Foundation. Based in Chicago, NAF is deeply committed to continuing its work to bring people together and build positivity throughout Chicago and this move solidifies that commitment. As Executive Director, Anna-Claire will work closely with me to expand NAF’s programs and partnerships in support of our youth and movement for peace and positive change.

Prior to joining the NAF, Anna-Claire served as Managing Director of External Affairs for Spark in Chicago where two of her program participants created the Shoot Hoops Not Guns campaign in support of NAF. After witnessing the youth take the #RockYourDrop pledge and seeing how inspired they were by the moment, she felt deeply connected to NAF’s mission which led to her joining the team. She began her career in Washington, DC, working closely with national, political and business leaders. 

Anna-Claire is a native Washingtonian with deep family ties to New York. She is a graduate of James Madison University in Virginia with a bachelor’s degree in international affairs and is completing a Business Foundations Specialization from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.