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Gaps in evidence: Gun violence in America

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"News stories about the problem of gun violence in America have dominated media outlets across the country over the past year. The tragic school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut continues to fuel an on-going debate about the laws surrounding violence and safety in our society. It’s a sensitive subject, and many people across the nation hold opposing viewpoints about what should be done. But one thing is clear: gun violence is a critical public health problem."

Read the rest of this post over on the BCTR's Evidence-Based Living blog:

Gaps in evidence: Gun violence in America

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Boston Globe quotes Exner-Cortens on teen dating violence

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An April 1 article in the Boston Globe outlines the need for better conversations with teens about dating violence. As the author points out, most parents are knowledgeable about and talk to their children about drinking, drugs, and sex, but dating violence is not yet on the list of essential conversations.

The Globe contacted Deinera Exner-Cortens for comment as her results from her research on teen dating violence were recently published in the journal Pediatrics as Longitudinal Associations Between Teen Dating Violence Victimization and Adverse Health Outcomes.

Exner-Cortens is quoted in the Globe article, saying,

A teenager’s first romantic relationship plays a critical role in helping an adolescent develop a sense of who he or she is — personally and sexually…If a teen’s first intimate relationship is abusive, it may skew what his or her view of what a healthy relationship looks like.

When teen dating turns dangerous - Boston Globe

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BCTR study links teen dating violence to future harmful effects

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Exner-Cortens and Eckenrode

Doctoral student Deinera Exner-Cortens and co-authors BCTR director John Eckenrode and Emily Rothman (Boston University School of Public Health) recently published a paper demonstrating that the consequences of teen dating violence are multiple adverse health affects in later life. Longitudinal Associations Between Teen Dating Violence Victimization and Adverse Health Outcomes was published online on December 10, 2012 by the journal Pediatrics.

In a Cornell Chronicle article on the paper, Exner-Cortens says,

Teens are experiencing their first romantic relationships, so it could be that aggressive relationships are skewing their view of what's normal and healthy and putting them on a trajectory for future victimization. In this regard, we found evidence that teen relationships can matter a great deal over the long run.

This is the first longitudinal study of a nationally representative sample to show connections between teen dating violence and later negative health outcomes in young adults.

Exner-Cortens gave interviews to the following:

USA Today

MSN Health Day



US News & World Report

Cornell Chronicle

And, the following have written articles on the findings:

Pediatrics blog

MedPage Today

ThinkProgress Health


RTT News

Daily RX

News Channel 9 - Syracuse, NY

ENews Forest Park - Illinois

Today's THV

Youth Today

Examiner - video

Outcome Magazine

ABC 13 - Toledo, OH


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Talks at Twelve: Ann Marie White, Thursday, December 6, 2012

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Preparing to Work with Systems and Stakeholders to Prevent Violence and Suicide
Ann Marie White, Dept. of Psychiatry, University of Rochester

Thursday, December 6, 2012
Beebe Hall, 2nd floor conference room

Lunch will be served. This event is open to all.

Fundamental factors at individual, relational, community and societal levels contribute to violence and suicide. Identifying, mitigating or preventing such ‘common risks’ is a key nexus for public health and prevention approaches. However, this extant literature is less instructive of ‘where to begin’ prevention initiatives – and says little about who or how communities experiencing these factors are to develop and lead in these areas.

Fostering academic-community partnerships that employ community-based participatory research as well as systems science methods is a critical direction of prevention research. Mobilization of stakeholder systems can generate far reaching, network-based intervention models within community members’ means to implement.

Methods of devising, testing and sustaining population-level, community-based and -led approaches (beyond formal health care and led by those affected), that employ some social network intervention (e.g., spread of information through a group), are underdeveloped. New directions in these methods for violence prevention are the focus of this talk.

Dr. Ann Marie White is Director of the Office of Mental Health Promotion (OMHP) and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Rochester Medical Center. She leads department-level change initiatives to deepen Psychiatry’s community engagement via service, education and research. OMHP oversees community, consumer and diversity affairs for Psychiatry faculty and staff. Dr. White directs local and national training activities in collaborative research to infuse scientific inquiries with mental health-related policy and program activities of communities. developed participatory research with volunteer “natural helpers” seeking to strengthen urban neighborhoods’ violence prevention activities and conducts multimedia education to develop civic engagement among youth and young adults from traditionally disadvantaged backgrounds. Her research interests focus on successful transitions into adulthood. Her 10+ years of research experiences in developmental psychology emphasized the role of community settings such as childcare, arts centers and after-school programs in the development of children and adolescents. Upon completion of her doctorate in Human Development and Psychology from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, she was a AAAS/SRCD fellow in the U.S. Senate and the National Institutes of Health.


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Talks at Twelve: Deinera Exner-Cortens, Thursday, May 10, 2012

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"Why Would You Wanna Be in a Relationship Like That When You Could Be in a Healthy One?": A Qualitative Investigation of Adolescents’ Beliefs about Dating Violence and Aggression
Deinera Exner-Cortens, graduate student, Human Development

Thursday, May 10, 2012
Beebe Hall, 2nd floor conference room.

In order to investigate the importance of contexts in aggressive interactions, this study examined adolescents’ thoughts on violence and aggression in dating relationships. High school students in Ithaca, NY in grades 9-12 (n=21) participated in a 40-minute semi-structured interview, and were asked for their thoughts on dating, dating violence and psychological aggression in dating relationships. Five main themes emerged from this analysis, as well as a list of 13 actions that the participants felt constituted psychological aggression. Actions listed by males and females in the sample differed in both frequency and perceived severity. In her talk, Deinera will discuss the findings from this study that support efforts to include assessments of context in studies of dating violence, and the application of this work to future research.

Deinera Exner-Cortens is a third year doctoral candidate in Human Development. She holds an MPH in Social and Behavioral Science from Boston University (2009), and a BSc in Cellular, Molecular and Microbial Biology from the University of Calgary (2007). Deinera's research focuses on understanding interpersonal violence in intimate relationships. Past and current projects in this area include media framing of domestic homicides in Botswana, intimate partner violence in the lives of Canadian Aboriginal women, prevalence of sexual violence in gay, lesbian and bisexual populations in the United States, longitudinal outcomes of teen dating violence victimization and the evaluation of a campus-based sexual violence prevention program. Currently, Deinera is working on her doctoral dissertation, which focuses on teen dating violence. The goal of this project is to provide practitioners with an improved understanding of how psychological aggression is used in teen dating relationships, as well as to highlight how depression and substance use may contribute to risk for re-victimization. Upon completion of her doctoral degree, Deinera plans to return to Canada, where she hopes to work in the public sector as an applied researcher.

Lunch will be served. This talk is open to all.  Metered parking is available across Plantations Rd. in The Plantations lot.

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BCTR Translational Research Colloquium

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Developmental-Ecological Understanding of Middle-School Violence Prevention
October 3, 2011

Patrick H. Tolan
Center to Promote Effective Youth Development, University of Virginia


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