Research Project

Ullman, Sarah

Development and Pilot Trial of an Intervention to Reduce Disclosure Recipients Negative Social Reactions and Victims Psychological Distress and Problem Drinking

Principal Investigator
Ullman, Sarah
Funding Source
University of New Hampshire


This proposal addresses RFP focus area 1 (victim/offender overlap), subsections a (“conflicts and disputes”) and b (“the police perspective”).   The victim/offender overlap is understudied among the gang-affiliated.  The proposed study fills this gap via three mechanisms: 1) Longitudinal qualitative study (utilizing in-depth interviews over a year) with violence prevention professionals (VPPs) who work directly with gang-related disputes; 2) observational fieldwork with VPPs on the job and during training events; 3) interviews with gang and other community members.  Interviewers will pursue descriptive accounts of: (a) the  progression of gang conflicts, with focus on the evolution of victim/offender roles; (b) the role of social influences in escalating or de-escalating conflict; (c) the characteristics, activities, and perceptions of VPPs across organizational contexts, including in relation to one another, (d) how VPPs identify participants in gang conflicts as victims or offenders;  and (e) how affected communities view the involvement of VPPs in varying scenarios. Chicago is the study site because of its level of gang violence and its density and diversity of organizations devoted to “interrupting” gang violence.  Specific and potential partners in this project include the Chicago Police, Ceasefire, community and institutional correctional agencies, educational institutions such as high schools, and other organizations, such as churches and the YMCA.  Through these agencies we will recruit individuals from the broader community (including current and former gang members) for participation in focus groups.