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Past Projects

These projects are projects that have been completed within the past five years. For older projects, please go to Resources/Archived Reports

Children Affected by Methamphetamine

Principal Investigator: Jody Brook, PhD

Research Staff: Yeuqi Yan, GRA; Margaret Lloyd, GRA

Children Affected by Methamphetamine (CAM) was a federally-funded project in Tulsa County, Oklahoma, implemented to improve the services offered to children at the Tulsa County Family Drug Court.  This project implemented a novel and promising strategy: offering two evidence-based parenting programs to parents sequentially. The evaluation utilized some of the most rigorous methods in child welfare research, as well as an innovative mixed methods approach to evaluation that included outcomes, cost analysis, and formative evaluation. Amount funded: $1,480,000 over 4 years (subcontract amount approximately $183,500 over 4 years). The project began in 2010 and continued through 2014.

Community-Based Development of a Pilot Program to Promote Health Among Urban Latino Youth in a School-Based Setting

Principal Investigator: Michelle Johnson-Motoyoma, PhD; Paula Fite, PhD; Michelle Levy, AM

Research Staff: Mindi Moses, GRA; Tiffany Koloroutis, MSW Research Fellow

Positive youth development programs can prevent adolescent pregnancy and substance use by building skills, strengthening the family, engaging youth in meaningful roles and activities, and communicating expectations. Moreover, positive youth development programs may achieve an economy of promotional and preventive effects by addressing common risk factors across a variety of youth outcomes. The purpose of this study was to develop and implement a pilot program to prevent adolescent pregnancy, HIV/STIs, and substance use among Latino youth in Kansas City, Missouri, through community-based research with students, teachers, and school administrators. This project was funded by the University of Kansas Strategic Initiative Grant Program.

Published articles from this research:

Fite, P., Hendrickson, M., Evans, S., Rubens, S., Johnson-Motoyama, M., & Savage, J. (2014). Associations between proactive and reactive subtypes of aggression and lifetime substance use in a sample of predominately Hispanic adolescents. Journal of Child and Adolescent Substance Abuse, 23(6), 388-406. doi: 10.1080/1067828X.2012.748440

Fite, P. J., Gabrielli, J., Cooley, J. L., Haas, S. M., Frazer, A., Rubens, S. L., & Johnson-Motoyama, M. (2014). Hope as a moderator of the associations between common risk factors and frequency of substance use among Latino adolescents. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment. doi: 10.1007/s10862-014-9426-1

Fite, P., Johnson-Motoyama, M., Rubens, S., & Peaches, A. (2013). Risk for being a teen parent: The influence of proactive and reactive aggression in a sample of Latino youth. Child Indicators Research. doi: 10.1007/s12187-013-9217-3

Juvenile Justice and Mental Health Service System Collaboration

Principal Investigator:Stephen A. Kapp, MSW, PhD

Project Manager: Mary Lee Robbins, MA, MSW, LSCSW

KUSSW completed a five-year study (FY 2004 to FY 2009) for the Kansas Social and Rehabilitation Services, Division of Health Care Policy (now the Department of Aging and Disabilities). This study addressed the ever-growing population of youth in Kansas with mental health needs who are court involved by exploring the delivery of services to them and levels of cross-system collaboration on their behalf between the public mental health and juvenile justice systems. This was a three-phase study that paid particular attention to youth and family experiences and points of view regarding dual service system collaboration.  The first study phase focused on the program level at five Community Mental Health Centers (CMHC) in Kansas. Researchers described the “front door” to the juvenile justice system, including juvenile intake and assessment processes and community corrections. The second study phase used a four-perspective interview process to broaden our understanding of experiences of youth clients and their families and their mental health and juvenile justice professionals. Study findings illustrated that degrees of collaboration between the two systems existed and differed by location, judicial district, and formal and informal policies, practices and culture. Relationships between high and low levels of collaboration and positive and negative outcomes are defined, as well as other findings. Most importantly, findings indicated there is a strong need to bridge the gap between the two systems with formal and informal policies, procedures and programs at all levels. The third study phase identified and implemented key strategies for improving and formalizing collaboration through pilot grants to two CMHCs. They successfully planned and implemented policy and program innovations based on their local knowledge of needs from both systems that greatly improved collaborative efforts.

Mapping the Black Box of Family Drug Courts

Principal Investigators: Toni Johnson, PhD; Jody Brook, PhD

Research Staff: Margaret Lloyd, GRA: Molly Jones-Peterman, GRA

This participatory study utilized concept mapping to address a significant gap in the family drug court literature by investigating the importance of various components to the drug court model from the perspective of family drug court (FDC) participants. The study also sought to understand the extent to which important elements are available to participating family drug courts so that relevant recommendations may be provided. Data was collected at the FDC in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and the FDC in Kansas City, Missouri, two sites that have demonstrated measurable success. The study was funded by the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse.

Rural Cultural Competency Project

Principal Investigators: Michelle Levy, AM; Cheryl Holmes, MPA

The purpose of this project was to explore the concept of rural cultural competency as it related to access to and delivery of health and social services. This project was supported by a grant from the REACH Healthcare Foundation that began in September 2013 and ended December 31, 2014.


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