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Social Sciences

SSRI > Past Projects > Crime, Drug Abuse, Youth Problems, and Poverty

Crime, Drug Abuse, Youth Problems, and Poverty

A Project Impact Assessment and Recommendations for Organizational Improvement and Sustainability of the Open Doors Project (1991)
Open Doors was a demonstration project using a voucher system to help "gap group families" in designated areas afford early childhood education for their 3-4 year old children. The evaluation of the Open Doors program was conducted in five communities, with parents and community leaders interviewed.


An Evaluation Design for the Parent Community Networking Center, State of Hawai`i, Department of Education (1990)
A program evaluation design was developed for the Parent Community Networking Centers (PCNCs) in the Department of Education. The evaluation included: 1) a literature review on the effectiveness of key community education programs that include parent involvement in the schools, 2) design of an evaluation; 3) program testing of the design, process and instrumentation during the first round of implementation; and, 4) an interim and final report.


Substance Abuse Prevention State Needs Assessment (1999 - 2001)
Family of Studies. Project included three research components: A middle and high school survey, a community resource assessment, and a social indicators study. These were aimed at assessing substance use and abuse and substance abuse prevention services in the State of Hawaii. Michael Hamnett was the PI. Co-PIs included John Knox and Renee Klinge. Val Song served as project coordinator. Project funded by the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention through the State Department of Health. Total Project Budget: $626,000.


Disproportionate Representation of Ethnic Groups in Hawai`i's Juvenile Justice System, Phase One and Phase Two (1994-1995)
This project was mandated by Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention to study the overrepresentation of minority youth at arrest, Family Court, detention and confinement. A database was created on the ethnicity of youth involved in the juvenile justice system and reports were presented to the Statewide Advisory Group for action to be taken to address over-representation. The studies have direct implications on the need for effective educational and preventive programs in addition to those in the corrections system.

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Drug Identification, Screening, Counseling (DISC) Model for Drug Abusing Childbearing Women and Their Children in Hawai`i (1992-1995)
The DISC Project was in collaboration with Kaiser Permanente, funded by the Hawai`i Department of Health, Maternal Child Health Branch develops, implements, and evaluates a system of prenatal addiction services including identification, screening/assessment, intensive prenatal surveillance, referral for substance abuse treatment in the prenatal and postpartum period, and assessment and follow-up of the infant. The DISC project is one of five Baby S.A.F.E. (Substance Abuse Free Environment) projects which are designed to help pregnant women stop using drugs and alcohol. It followed many of the women through the first year of the infant's life. Over four years the research examined questions concerning the effectiveness of the implementation of the model, the intervention with mothers and infants, the suitability of the model for replication in other health care systems, the acceptance by nursing staff members, the number of mothers and babies identified as drug-exposed, the number of referrals to community services made and utilized, and the results of all infant assessment parameters. Related work included the development of a program to provide pregnancy sharing and parent education to couples during pregnancy and through the child's first year.

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Evaluation of the Department of Health's Peer Education Program's Sexual Assault Prevention Curriculum (1998-1999)
Students in 23 public high schools with the PEP curriculum on sexual assault in three "control" schools which do not have the PEP program were tested prior to and following the curriculum taught by other students. The study showed that Peer Educators retained information learned during training the previous year; overall they answered more knowledge and attitude questions correctly than students in the PEP classrooms and those in control schools without PEP; and, all students introduced to PEP improved their scores by a range of a few percentage points to over 20%. Students improved most in the areas categorized as "victim-blaming," followed by "myths" about sexual assault. They study also examined the results from a Non-PEP school which had a different intervention and concluded that students there did better on a few questions which were the focus of that intervention -- getting help or counseling and what it means to say "no."


Family and Youth Services Database (1988-1993)
Center for Youth Research maintained a comprehensive information system of available youth and family-related services in the State of Hawai`i. The database included demographic information, program services, target population, staffing and funding sources of over 1,500 agencies and resources. Requests for information were filled over the phone and in-person and regular printouts and reports were published. In 1993, the database was cleaned and submitted to ASK-2000 for future use.


Hawai`i Girls Project (1996-ended June 30, 2000)
An Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) Challenge Grant with a goal to gain the commitment of communities to structure their services and resources for effective and positive support of girls in reaching their full potential. A series of forums identify gender equity issues, share experiences regarding services and programs for girls, exchange ideas, and explore ways to improve the current system for girls in Hawai`i. The discussions at these forums include current research on girls in Hawai`i; ethnic factors affecting girls; girls in gangs; violence and drugs in the lives of girls; effective strategies in working with girls; programming for girls in the juvenile justice system; and promoting policy change in services for girls. A comprehensive body of knowledge will evolve from these forums and research and evaluation will serve as a rich source of information for those who work with girls as well as policy makers. The project will sponsor a statewide event in Fall, 1997.

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Hawai`i's Progress on the National Goals for Education Project (1992)
The Department of Education reports annually on how the State is addressing the Goals for the Year 2000. A project team conducted interviews, collected data and wrote an analysis for the six goals in the report which was submitted National Education Goals Panel.


Healthy Start's Child Development Component Evaluation (1993-1994)
This project evaluated implementation of the child development component called "Parents as First Teachers" including such measures as client and staff satisfaction, program implementation, parent attachment, parent-child interactions, and parental knowledge of child development.


The Hawaii Substance Abuse Needs Prevention Project (1999-2001)
A federally-funded project awarded by the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention. This project is described as an integrated "family of studies." The family of prevention needs assessment represents a continuation of Hawaii's on-going substance abuse needs assessment activities which began under an award from the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. The State Department of Health's Alcohol and Drug Abuse Division (ADAD) is the contractor and UH-SSRI is the sub-contractor, in charge of the research. The project is comprised of three individual studies, including: 1) a community resource assessment; 2) a middle and high school school survey; and, 3) a social indicators study.

  1. The Community Resource Assessment will identify and gather data on a broad range of funding, personnel, data, and other prevention resources for the State of Hawaii. The final product will be a Web site that graphically depicts area of elevated risk (need) across the State's four counties (modeled after Washington State's Web site) and linked to the county's prevention resources on an ADAD Web site. This product will use Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology to monitor risk across the State.
  2. The School Survey will build on the DOH's and DOE's previous efforts in youth substance abuse research. Some of the major objectives of this survey are: 1) to determine the prevalence reports of use/abuse of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs (ATOD) among 6th, 8th, 10th, and 12th graders; 2) to provide assessment of risk and protective factors at school, district, county, and state levels to determine changes in ATOD use, characteristics of the changes, and contributing factors for change; and, 3) to explore relationships between cultural and ethnic affiliation to risk and protective factors
  3. The Social Indicators Study will test the relationships between drug and alcohol use prevalence and incidence and the "Validated Archival Indicators of Risk and Outcome Variables that Predict Problem Behavior." This will mean collecting indicator data from many published documents.The purpose of this family of studies is to expand upon existing efforts to develop, implement, and monitor efficient, valid and reliable assessment systems to guide prevention policy and planning. These study findings will better enable the private and government agencies providing prevention services in Hawaii to use risk and protective factor data, and drug use incidence and prevalence data to estimate service needs, target prevention resources, select and/or develop more appropriate prevention strategies, and evaluate the efforts of these services.

The project team includes the two Principal Investigators, Mike Hamnett and Renee Klingle, Valerie Song as Project Policy Analyst, John Knox.

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Juvenile Robbery Arrests in Honolulu: An Overview (1999)
A thorough examination of the juvenile robbery trends in Honolulu from 1987-1997 with a comparative analysis of the 122 arrests in 1991 and 198 arrests in 1997. The report gives characteristics of the robbery incidents and arrests (locations, property involved, and the type of force or weapons used) and profiles of juveniles arrested and victims. This was the first time that the State Department of the Attorney General conducted research under the new Bureau of Justice Statistics guidelines for grants.


Parents as First Teachers (PAFT) Evaluation (1994-1995)
This was a continuation of the evaluation of Healthy Start's Parents as First Teachers component which studied the extent to which PAFT has enhanced overall child development, for children, aged 2-3 years. The variables studied were the child development/social outcome measures of overall child development and social involvement, and the cognitive outcome measures such as reasoning skills, concept learning and reflectivity. Two cohorts of children were longitudinally assessed. The research team observed and implemented testing with the 1992 Healthy Start Group (those children enrolled in Healthy Start program after the Child Development Component was implemented) and a matched control group (Healthy Start children without the child development experience) of similar size


Phase Two: A Study of Organizational Responsibilities and Problems of Coordination of Services to Juvenile Status Offenders in Hawai‘i (1995-96)
Phase Two will expand on the organizational questions through a series of focus groups in each of the four counties. The current problems of fragmentation of services, coordination of agency efforts and responsibility for status offenders will be discussed.


Recreational Opportunities in the City and County of Honolulu (1991)
Project included a facilities usage study the Department of Parks and Recreation activities offered to youth 13-18 in targeted communities. Data identified the facilities and the types of activities they could accommodate, their utilization, what was offered and not offered, and the feasibility of extending facility hours.


Self-Determination in Integrated Settings Project (1993)
The project's purpose was to: 1) study the variables related to developing self-determination skills; 2) develop and demonstrate methods and processes for increasing the self-determining behaviors among young adults with disabilities; 3) evaluate the success of the project in developing self-determination skills among adolescents and their families; and, 4) disseminate the project information to families of adolescents who are disabled, appropriate institutes, clearinghouses, and technical assistance organizations.

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Strengthening Recreational Opportunities in the City and County of Honolulu (1991)
This project continued previous work with the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR). The project: 1) identified and reviewed promising recreational programs for youth, ages 13-18, 2) reviewed evaluations of those programs, 3) identified two or three of the most promising programs and provided technical assistance by showing how the information could be used, 4) suggested training and organizational implications of adapting programs for use by DPR, 5) funded a DPR staff person to survey promising youth programs on the Mainland, and 6) provided four training sessions for recreational personnel on various aspects of working with adolescents.


Survival on Parole: A Study of Post-Prison Adjustment and the Risk of Returning to Prison in the State of Hawaii (1998-1999)
This study created a statistical portrait of persons released on parole in the State of Hawaii during the fiscal year 1995-1996, and on revocation rates during the subsequent two-year period. Parolee characteristics that are related to parole "survival" (success) or failure are described, along with an in-depth anaylsis of the factors that can actually be used to predict survival or revocation. Conducted for the State Department of the Attorney General with the cooperation of the Hawaii Paroling Authority.


Waiau Elementary School Video Literacy Project (1993)
Students at Waiau Elementary School (under faculty supervision) produced videos in order to enhance their critical viewing skills and to study developmental and gender and cultural difference in current children's video offerings and the children's viewing styles and preferences.


The Youth Corrections Project (1990)
The Hawai`i Department of Corrections was assisted in the development and implementation of a youth corrections staff training and development program. The major elements of the project were a review of documents on juvenile corrections, a review of staff training needs, assistance in the selection of nationally-recognized juvenile corrections programs, assistance in the selection of trainers to implement the staff training and development program and an evaluation of the training effectiveness.

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Youth Development Project (1983 - 1999)
The Youth Development Project (YDP) is a research-based program for delinquency prevention that tests strategies for children and youth at risk: social skills, cooperative learning and home-community networking. The project is intended to reduce delinquency by influencing factors that precede delinquency. The project began in the 4th, 5th, 6th grades of Waiakea Elementary and Intermediate School, Hilo, Hawai`i, in 1983-84. Teachers and others involved with youth in the public schools are trained, and in turn, teach youth to use social skills and cooperative learning to improve school performance and reduce delinquency. The evaluation focuses on YDP's impacts on teaching, classroom and school environment, and students' learning and behavior. The curriculum manual, Youth Development Project in the Schools. A Course of Study, videos and a Web Page have been developed.


Youth on the Run from Families and School (1996-1997)
This project is being carried out through two phases. Phase One: A Study to Clarify State and Community Services to Juvenile Status Offenders in Hawai`i. The project will develop a profile of juvenile status offenders using arrest and Family Court case files as part of the development of a comprehensive plan for services to this category of youth. The work will include key informant interviews with the Juvenile Divisions of the Police Departments of the counties of Hawai`i, Honolulu, Kauai, and Maui, the Department of Human Services, the Department of Education, the Family Court, the Office of Youth Services and major service providers. Surveys of the concerned agencies and services providers in a combination questionnaire and phone interview will determine the proportion of their caseloads who are status offenders, their chronicity, the nature of their services delivered and the extent and source of reimbursement (funding) for handling these youth.