What We Do

At any given time, the Prevention Science Program hosts between 8-12 projects ranging from basic science to working with communities to implement effective programs.

This work is largely organized under three efforts: The Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence, Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development, and the Center for Resilience + Well-Being in Schools.

Below is a listing of currently funded grants in the Prevention Science Program.

Research Grants in Force

Training Partnership with North Carolina Center for Safer Schools

Start Date: October 1, 2019
End Date: May 23, 2024
PI: Beverly Kingston
Bureau of Justice Assistance
Award: $122,562

This project partners with RTI International and the North Carolina Center for Safer Schools Center to provide subject matter expertise to North Carolina schools and school districts in the areas of anonymous reporting systems and selecting and implementing evidence-based programs, practices and policies to improve school safety and prevent violence.

Testing the Efficacy of Botvin’s High School Lifeskills Training Program

Start Date: July 1, 2020
End Date: March 31, 2024
PI: Karl G. Hill
Arnold Foundation
Award: $1,680,914

This study will provide an independent, rigorous cluster-randomized controlled trial with 47 high schools in Colorado and Ohio to test the efficacy of Botvin’s High School LifeSkills Training in reducing tobacco and cannabis use over time, as well as alcohol use, illicit drug use, violence, mental health and academic achievement. Currently, the middle school (grades 6-8) version of LST has strong evidentiary support in reducing tobacco use and related problems. However, the much briefer high school (grade 9 or 10) version of LST has only limited, though promising, positive evidence for reducing high school adolescent substance use.

Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development

Start Date: July 1, 2019
End Date: March 31, 2024
PI: Pamela Buckley, Co-PI: Karl G. Hill
Arnold Foundation
Award: $1,649,850

Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development provides a registry of evidence-based positive youth development programs designed to promote the health and well-being of children and teens. Blueprints pursues two primary activities. 1) Provide a trusted source of accessible information on experimentally proven interventions recommended for large-scale implementation that meet a high evidentiary standard based upon a rigorous systematic review of all the research evidence. And 2) advance national dialogue on the importance of adopting high scientific standards and promoting experimentally proven interventions.

Improving the Livelihoods of Vulnerable Youth: A Foundation for Functional Family Therapy Gangs

Start Date: October 1, 2020
End Date: September 30, 2023
PI: David C. Pyrooz
Private Foundation
Award: $600,821

This project establishes a foundation to institute Functional Family Therapy-Gangs (FFT-G), a family-based therapeutic intervention, with juvenile probationers in the Denver area. A randomized controlled trial will be used to assess the effectiveness of FFT-G in reducing problem behaviors among youth.

Training Colorado Rural Schools and Districts

Start Date: October 1, 2020
End Date: September 30, 2023
PI: Beverly Kingston
Bureau of Justice/DOJ
Award: $1,999,980

This project provides training and technical assistance to multidisciplinary threat assessment and intervention teams in 30 rural school districts across Colorado. Tailored training and technical assistance will be given to districts to build, deploy and sustain a gap-free, coordinated system, where tips are thoroughly investigated, where concerning information is shared appropriately, and where students in crisis are compassionately supported.

An Evaluation of the Gun Shop Project: Suicide Prevention Led By the Firearms Community

Start Date: September 30, 2020
End Date: September 29, 2023
PI: Sabrina Arredondo Mattson
Center for Disease Control
Award: $1,949,852

This project aims to conduct a process (Colorado) and outcome (national) evaluation of Gun Shop Projects, community-driven suicide prevention partnerships between the firearms community (firearm retailers, ranges, and other businesses) and local public or community health agencies.

The Generational Transmission of Parenting and Self Regulation

Start Date: July 11, 2018
End Date: May 31, 2023
PI: Karl G. Hill
John Hopkins University Subaward
Award: $210,909

This three-generation study seeks to determine whether self-regulation in childhood is a foundation for parenting in adulthood and whether a successful universal preventive intervention to improve self-regulation in childhood also improves self-regulation in the next generation.

Program in Urban Neighborhoods in Indonesia

Start Date: December 1, 2019
End Date: September 30, 2022
PI: Beverly Kingston
Dignity-Danish Institute Against Torture
Award: $694,768

This project aims to adapt the Safe Communities Safe Schools model to the Indonesian urban context. Project goals include preventing recruitment of children and adolescents into violent organizations such as organized crime, and/or mobilization for political and/or religious radicalization and extremism, and to help youth see new possibilities for the future, including using the benefits of digital media.

Colorado 2019 STOP School Violence Technology and Threat Assessment Solution for Safer School Project

Start Date: January 1, 2019
End Date: September 30, 2022
PI: Sabrina Arredondo Mattson
Colorado Department of Public Safety/COLO
Award: $634,253

This project evaluates the extent to which the protocol is being implemented as designed and generates information that can be used to refine and improve the protocol.

Center for Resilience and Well Being in Schools

Start Date: October 1, 2017
End Date: September 30, 2022
PI: Kimberly Shipman, Monica Fitzgerald
Substance Abuse and Mental Health service
Award: $2,998,794

This 5-year project involves developing a Center for Resilience and Well-being in Schools, Category II Treatment and Services Adaptation Center (TSA) of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN; www.nctsn.org). This Center serves as a national leader and resource hub for promoting, developing and evaluating research-based, school-wide approaches and programming for increasing educator and school staff and student social and emotional competencies, resilience, and mental/behavioral health in trauma-informed, culturally responsive ways.

Denver Youth Violence Prevention Center

Start Date: September 30, 2016
End Date: September 29, 2022
PI: Beverly Kingston
Centers for Disease Control
Award: $5,983,487

This project aims to implement and evaluate a community-level prevention system that delivers community- and policy-level violence prevention strategies matched to local need across two high-burden Denver communities. It builds upon a five-year implementation of Communities That Care in Montbello as part of the Steps to Success project, which focused on evaluating a data-driven multi-faceted approach to youth violence prevention.

The Community Collective for Youth and Family Resilience

Start Date: September 30, 2020
End Date: September 29, 2022
PI: Kimberly Shipman, Ph.D. and Marcela Torres Pauletic Ph.D.; CO-I Monica Fitzgerald
Department of Health and Human Services
Award: $683,029

The CCYFR, funded/sponsored by the Family and Youth Services Bureau of the Administration of Children and Families, US Department of Health and Human Services, establishes sustainable implementation of evidence-based, dyadic, parent-child interventions for families impacted by domestic violence in two Colorado counties (Boulder and Broomfield), creating a model of successful implementation that can be scaled up across the state.

Dissemination of Botvin LifeSkills Training High School Program

Start Date: September 1, 2019
End Date: August 31, 2022
PI: M. Amanda Lain
Altria Client Services
Award: $2,800,000

This project extends the evidence-informed Botvin LifeSkills Training (LST) High School program to high schools in 16 states in the U.S. CSPV facilitates high-quality implementation of the LST High School Program by providing school districts with resources, training, technical assistance, fidelity monitoring, and sustainability planning throughout the grant period.

Dissemination of Botvin LifeSkills Training Middle School Program

Start Date: September 1, 2019
End Date: August 31, 2022
PI: M. Amanda Lain
Altria Client Services
Award: $11,140,002

This project disseminates a Blueprints-certified evidence-based drug and violence prevention program, Botvin LifeSkills Training (LST) to middle schools in 16 states in the U.S. The LST Middle School Program is an experimentally-proven program that targets the social and psychological factors associated with violence and substance use in youth. CSPV facilitates high-quality implementation of the LST Middle School Program by providing school districts with resources, training, technical assistance, fidelity monitoring, and sustainability planning throughout the grant period.

Shakespeare Outreach

Start Date: July 1, 2020
End Date: July 31, 2022
PI: Beverly Kingston
Continuing Education CU
Award: $25,000

This project aims to educate Colorado schoolchildren about the cycle of violence through the works of William Shakespeare. We develop in-depth relationships with Colorado schools to help them understand the cycle of violence not only through performances and workshops, but also through the school climate survey and follow-up.

Mortality Among High Risk Young Men in the United States

Start Date: August 1, 2019
End Date: July 31, 2022
PI: David C. Pyrooz
Eunice Kennedy Shriver/National Institute of child health and human development
Award: $154,000

This project examines mortality risk among an understudied and hard-to-reach but exceptionally high-risk subpopulation: gang members. The data used to assess this relationship were drawn from law enforcement gang intelligence gathered between 1993 and 2003, consisting of 3,154 male gang members, matched against mortality and cause-of-death data from the National Death Index.

LifeSkills Training Implementation – Colorado

Start Date: July 1, 2017
End Date: June 30, 2022
PI: Diane Ballard
Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE)
Award: $1,669,997

Implementation and fidelity monitoring of the Botvin LifeSkills Training Middle School program in Colorado schools, many of which are located in communities implementing the evidence-based Communities that Care prevention system.

The Role of Flavored Tobacco Use on Young Adult and Adult Tobacco Attitudes and Use Behaviors Over Time

Start Date: October 1, 2020
End Date: March 31, 2022
PI: Christine Steeger
University of Southern California/NIH/NCI
Award: $103,552

This pilot project will answer novel questions about how the use of tobacco product flavors is related to young adult and adult tobacco-related attitudes and behaviors over time, using existing data from the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study.

Leaving Gangs and Desisting Arrest

Start Date: January 1, 2019
End Date: December 31, 2021
PI: David C. Pyrooz
National Institute of Justice DOJ
Award: $600,797

The purpose of this project is to evaluation the processes and impacts of a gang intervention program in Denver. The Gang Reduction Initiative of Denver uses a multidisciplinary team with street outreach works to promote disengagement from gangs and desistance from crime.

Building a Trauma Center of Excellence

Start Date: October 1, 2016
End Date: September 30, 2021
PI: Kimberly Shipman, Monica Fitzgerald
Mental Health Center of Boulder County subcontract
Award: $1,207,491

The primary goal of this 5-year partnership between CU-Boulder’s Institute of Behavioral Science and Mental Health Partners (MHP) is to build capacity in trauma-informed evidence-based practices, including targeted interventions for Hispanic families, military families, and families involved in the child welfare systems. We are collaborating to develop a Trauma Center of Excellence for children and families at MHP, called Moving Beyond Trauma in the local community and to disseminate evidence-based, trauma-focused treatments in Colorado and surrounding regions.

Let’s Connect

Start Date: August 1, 2017
End Date: July 31, 2021
PI: Kimberly Shipman, Monica Fitzgerald
Boulder Valley Public Schools (Kaiser)
Award: $223,626

This 3-year project is an academic-community partnership with Boulder Valley School District (BVSD) to develop and test a unifying, common approach to social and emotional learning for both adults and children across the district that can provide Tier 1 behavioral program supports within MTSS. The goals are to create trauma-sensitive and culturally responsive schools and classrooms; increase participation in social and emotional wellness programs; increase a sense of belonging and connectedness in students, families and staff; and improve teacher and staff social emotional wellness competencies through professional
development.

Partnering to Improve the Denver Public Schools and CU Boulder Teacher Workforce Collaborative

Start Date: July 1, 2019
End Date: June 30, 2021
PI: Mimi Engel
Institute of Education Sciences Department of Education
Award: $399,995

Evaluating Communities That Care

Start Date: October 26, 2016
End Date: June 30, 2021
PI: Beverly Kingston
Colorado Department of Public Health Environment
Award: $3,461,110

This project evaluates the Colorado implementation of the Communities That Care (CTC) model, which seeks to identify and implement evidence-based youth substance abuse prevention strategies in communities across the State. This involves developing and collecting process and outcome evaluation data to support CTC program effectiveness.

Web-Based Training for DoD Families

Start Date: May 5, 2016
End Date: June 13, 2021
PI: Monica Fitzgerald
UCLA
Award: $63,540

Provide consultation and support for the NCCTS team as they work with DOD to develop, enhance, and sustain capacity to provide trauma-informed, evidence-based interventions for military families.

Safe Communities Safe Schools

Start Date: January 1, 2016
End Date: December 30, 2020
PI: Beverly Kingston
Department of Justice
Award: $6,230,136

This study evaluates the feasibility and impact of the Safe Communities Safe Schools (SCSS) Model in 46 Colorado middle schools. The SCSS Model offers a comprehensive, coordinated, feasible approach for improving school safety. This project has two primary goals: (1) effectively implement the SCSS Model in middle schools and (2) utilize a staggered-entry randomized control trial to evaluate the SCSS Model. Study results will provide practical and scalable solutions to help educators, lawmakers, and policy makers effectively promote school safety and violence prevention nationwide.