Youth, Communities, and Crime Research Group

The Youth, Communities, and Crime Research Group conducts research projects in collaboration with local community organizations, juvenile justice systems, community behavioral health centers, and academic settings. The goal of our lab's efforts is develop greater understanding about youth and families, the neighborhoods they live in, and the organizations that serve them. We focus on clarifying the relationships among problematic behaviors in youth, parenting, the influences of neighborhood characteristics, and how service providers are interacting with youth and families to address problem behaviors.

M.A.P.S. (Mapping Adolescents' Places and Spaces) Study

We recently completed a mixed-methods data collection with 55 youth who live in Toledo, OH. Detailed interviews and mapping exercises were used to find out how teens think about their neighborhooods and where they travel within and around their communities. We are hoping to learn more about the spaces teenagers encounter in their day-to-day activities, and how teens may be influenced by those communities. A subsample of youth were interviewed a second time several months later, to examine how their views and experiences in their neighborhoods might change over time.

Contact Information:
Mikayla King
Phone: 567-343-2288

Lucas County Re-Entry Evaluation

We evaluated new re-entry services provided to youth released from juvenile detention in Lucas County, funded by a Department of Justice Second Chance Act Grant. The evaluation will focus on the relationships between re-entering youth and their parents, their views of the services they received through the court and related programs, and improvements in their long-term outcomes including reductions in recidivism. The overall goal of the study is to better evaluate the services youth receive through the re-entry programs provided to juveniles in Lucas County. The evaluation is being led by Carolyn Tompsett and Adam Watkins, both Associate Professors at BGSU. Sindhia Colburn is a BGSU doctoral student, who is the lead graduate research assistant on this project.

Contact Information:
Sindhia Colburn

Children's Resource Center

We recently concluded a project using secondary data collected as part of a community mental health clinic's standard outcome monitoring processes in order to examine how empirical measures may be used to improve treatment outcomes and client service selection in a community mental health setting. Using measures of emotional and behavioral problems and functioning in combination with information regarding the type and frequency of services, this study sought to answer several questions regarding client symptoms, service utilization, and treatment outcomes.

Pilot study of smartphone-enabled data collection with at-risk teens 

In partnership with BGSU computer science faculty and students, we have developed an app that both tracks a user's location and administers brief surveys. We will be using this app to pilot smartphone-enabled data collection with 5-10 teens living in a high-risk neighborhood in Toledo. Study questions include attention to how teens define the boundaries of their home neighborhoods, how their daily activities expose them to different contexts, associations between neighborhood exposures and stress, and the role of peers in neighborhood exposure as well as risky behaviors.

Contact information:

Carolyn J. Tompsett