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The Effects of TF-CBT and Wraparound Services on Disadvantaged Youth: Experimental Evidence
Last registered on September 07, 2018

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
The Effects of TF-CBT and Wraparound Services on Disadvantaged Youth: Experimental Evidence
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0000933
Initial registration date
November 17, 2015
Last updated
September 07, 2018 3:42 PM EDT
Location(s)

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Primary Investigator
Affiliation
University of Chicago Crime Lab and Urban Education Lab
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
University of Chicago Crime Lab and Urban Education Lab
Additional Trial Information
Status
On going
Start date
2015-09-14
End date
2021-03-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
The paper evaluates a new intervention seeking to address the problem of youth violence. Choose to Change (C2C) is a program that combines trauma focused cognitive behavioral therapy with wraparound services. This is the first time that these services are being offered together and rigorously evaluated. C2C will serve at least 570 at-risk youth during the years 2015-2019 in various neighborhoods of the South Side of Chicago, with a possibility for future cohorts. As there is little definitive evidence on the effectiveness of intensive services programs for high-risk youth, identifying programs that are successful with this population is a key policy priority for many cities across the country.

External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Abdul-Razzak, Nour and Kelly Hallberg. 2018. "The Effects of TF-CBT and Wraparound Services on Disadvantaged Youth: Experimental Evidence." AEA RCT Registry. September 07. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.933-5.0.
Former Citation
Abdul-Razzak, Nour, Kelly Hallberg and Kelly Hallberg. 2018. "The Effects of TF-CBT and Wraparound Services on Disadvantaged Youth: Experimental Evidence." AEA RCT Registry. September 07. http://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/933/history/33957.
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
Children’s Home and Aid (CHA) and Youth Advocate Programs (YAP) have teamed up to provide the new C2C intervention to Chicago youth. YAP will assign each youth an advocate who will interact weekly with the youth in one-on-one and family meetings, as well as recreational groups. The advocate will work with the youth for 12+ hours a week to engage them in pro-social activities and build up the natural supports in their lives. In addition, CHA will provide SPARCS (Structured Psychotherapy for Adolescents Responding to Chronic Stress), a group trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy. SPARCS is a specific form of therapy that is designed for youth who have been traumatized, and continue to live with high levels of stress. Youth will receive 12-16 sessions of SPARCS aimed at reducing trauma symptoms and improving behavior.

The program is intended for high-risk youth (ages 13-18), and therefore will specifically target youth who are actively gang-affiliated, on juvenile probation, have been found guilty of weapons offenses, are seriously disruptive in school through chronic truancy, serious misconduct or frequent suspensions, or have been direct victims of or witnesses to traumatic violence. Referrals will be received from Chicago Public Schools, the Cook County Juvenile Probation Department, and other agency and community partners that work with youth who are involved in the juvenile justice system and have disengaged from school.

Youth who are randomly selected from the eligible population of referrals and agree to participate in the intervention will receive 5-6 months of C2C programming. The program will be delivered in six cohorts (to date), each lasting five-six months and enrolling between 60-110 youth at a time. The goal of the C2C intervention is to reduce criminal and violent behavior and improve academic achievement by helping youth stabilize and successfully participate in school, community, and family life. The study may enroll additional cohorts if additional funding becomes available.

Intervention Start Date
2015-10-09
Intervention End Date
2019-03-31
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
• Criminal activity [Time Frame: 6 month intervals post randomization to at least 2 years post]
The number of arrests will be measured using individual-level administrative data on juvenile and adult arrests from the Chicago Police Department.
• School engagement [Time Frame: 6 month intervals post randomization to at least 2 years post]
Schooling outcomes will be measured using student-level administrative data from the Chicago Public Schools. Engagement will be assessed using data on attendance, CPS on-track indicator, grades, course-taking, disciplinary incidents, test scores, graduation, school switching, and enrollment in schools within juvenile justice facilities.

However, we need to wait until a youth becomes eligible for graduation as some youth start the program as young as 13. Therefore if we need to follow youth for longer than 2 years post randomization to observe graduation or other school engagement variables, we would do so.

• Employment [Time Frame: 6 month intervals post randomization to at least 2 years post]
Employment and wages will be measured using individual-level quarterly earnings records from Unemployment Insurance, provided by the Illinois Department of Employment Security.
However, we need to wait until a youth becomes eligible for employment as some youth start the program as young as 13. Therefore if we need to follow youth for longer than 2 years post randomization to observe possible employment, we would do so.

The interval time periods will be used to determine when most of the change is happening for all outcomes.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
In addition to using Chicago Police Department data, we will also look at outcomes using Illinois State Police data as not all youth in our study have and will be arrested in the city limits.
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
We plan to investigate total arrests as well as arrests broken down by certain categories such as violent, property, drug, or "other". This other category might be further categorized if it makes up a majority of arrests. We may use techniques such as factor analysis to further sub-divide categories.

if available, we will obtain data from the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) to explore how the program impacted public benefit enrollment (such as SNAP, medicaid, etc).


If possible, we will work with the Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) to explore the impact of the program on enrollment in summer employment programs in Chicago.

Lastly, if given permission, we will explore the long-run impact of this program (5-10 years post). This would involve looking at some of our primary outcomes for a longer time horizon (adult employment, adult arrest outcomes) and exploring new outcomes such as enrollment in college through the National Student Clearinghouse.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
Randomized Controlled Trial: For each program cohort, treatment youth will be randomly selected from a list of eligible youth that were referred to the program. Program providers will then offer the program to those youth randomized to treatment. We will compare the treatment group outcomes to the control group outcomes, looking specifically at arrests, connection to school and/or employment, and academic performance. Given the structure of the referrals and background of our youth, we will stratify (or block) by referral source to improve our treatment effect estimates.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization done by computer
Randomization Unit
Eligible youth were randomized at the individual level and stratified by referral source.
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
1740 youth
Sample size: planned number of observations
1740 youth
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
About 870 treatment youth, 870 control youth, but this depends on take-up and how many youth need to be offered/randomized to the program to reach the needed cohort size.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
Social & Behavioral Sciences Institutional Review Board, University of Chicago
IRB Approval Date
2015-09-09
IRB Approval Number
IRB 15-0980
Analysis Plan

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