Deaths of despair by association? Social networks, experiences, and circumstances that lead to early death

While there is substantial suggestive evidence that youth criminal involvement and/or violent death correlates with poor outcomes for families, there is a significant gap in knowledge regarding its spillover effects over siblings and school peers, particularly in the context of North Carolina and Durham. A multi-pronged evaluation of the causes and consequences of these dimensions on dimensions associated with health, education and child development more generally is essential for informing public policy targeting disadvantaged populations within the state and local communities. This pilot will conduct a series of studies that will 1) evaluate how and where families are impacted by violent death and criminal involvement among youth across North Carolina (with particular attention to Durham County); 2) assess the early indicators of these outcomes considering the school record of individuals; and 3) develop an understanding of the spillover effects of these events for school peers (social networks) and younger co-residing siblings. The overall goal of this research is to develop and analyze clear policy solutions which can be discussed with and communicated directly to policy makers and other entities of the civil society to prevent these events and ameliorate its broader consequences over those indirectly affected by them. The pilot will utilizeĀ  data from the North Carolina Education Research Center (NCERDC) merged with multiple sources of administrative information (juvenile justice, criminal corrections, court records, death, and violent death).

Academic Year
Duke Principal Investigator(s)
Primary Funding Agency
Award Year