News and Research Reports 2006

2004 Boston Youth Survey Report Officially Released
HYVPC is pleased to announce the official joint release of the Report of the 2004 Boston Youth Survey with the City of Boston’s Office of Human Services. The release of this report represents a major milestone in the long-term collaboration between researchers at the Harvard Youth Violence Prevention Center and city officials from the Office of Human Services and Boston Centers for Youth and Families. For full details about the survey and to download the report, visit the Boston Youth Survey page on the Harvard Youth Violence Prevention Center website.

Yerby Fellow Renee M. Johnson Wins APHA ICEHS Best Paper Award
Renee M. Johnson, Alonzo Yerby Post-Doctoral Fellow at HICRC, is the recipient of the Best Paper Award in the student paper competition from the Injury Control and Emergency Health Services (ICEHS) Section of the American Public Health Association. Based on her dissertation research, the paper “Storage of household firearms: An examination of women’s attitudes and beliefs” will be submitted for publication shortly. Renee will also present her findings at the APHA annual conference in Philadelphia (Session 3113.0: Monday December 12, 11AM)

Second Edition of Injury Prevention and Public Health Published
Co-authored by HICRC Advisory Board Chair Susan Scavo Gallagher and Tom Christoffel, “Injury Prevention and Public Health: Practical Knowledge, Skills, and Strategies” has been updated and published as a second edition. From the back cover: “It is the first book I recommend to students or public health pracitioners for an introdution to the field of injury control. -David Hemenway” The book also include a Foreword by Dr. Hemenway. For more information, visit Jones and Bartlett Publishers.

Archived Webcast of Seminar on Fatal Drug Overdoses
Kay Sanford, Head of the Injury Epidemiology Unit at the North Carolona DHHS Division of Public Health, presented “A Public Health Response to an Epidemic of Fatal Drug Overdoses in North Carolina” as part of our monthly seminar series. This seminar was recorded and is now available as a webcast. View Webcast

Archived Webcast of Seminar on Fatal Drug Overdoses
Kay Sanford, Head of the Injury Epidemiology Unit at the North Carolona DHHS Division of Public Health, presented “A Public Health Response to an Epidemic of Fatal Drug Overdoses in North Carolina” as part of our monthly seminar series. This seminar was recorded and is now available as a webcast. View Webcast

HPH NOW Features Yerby Fellow Glendene Lemard
The April 15th 2005 edition of the bi-weekly news bulletin for the Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard Public Health NOW, featured HICRC Yerby Fellow Glendene Lemard. Glendene was interviewed about her research on homicide in her homeland of Jamaica, and her upcoming violence-prevention work in Guyana, which will be funded by the Inter-American Development Bank. More information at: Harvard Public Health NOW

Associate Director Appointed to Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee
HYVPC Associate Director Dr. Angela Browne was recently named to the Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The JJAC is charged with coordinating juvenile justice and delinquency prevention efforts in the Commonwealth and with providing policy recommendations to the Governor and state legislators on juvenile justice matters.

Molnar Paper Honored by Journal
Dr. Beth Molnar’s paper “A Multilevel Study of Neighborhoods and Parent-to-Child Physical Aggression” was chosen by the journal Child Maltreatment as its “Article of the Year.” More information on the article and the award at:

HYVPC Director of Programs Honored
Dr. Deborah Prothrow-Stith, Director of Programs at the Harvard Youth Violence Prevention Center, was awarded the Donald Cressy Award by the National Council on Crime and Delinquency for her “outstanding academic contributions to criminology.”

Murder Is No Accident: Understanding and Preventing Youth Violence in America
A new book on the problem of youth violence, written by Dr. Deborah Prothrow-Stith, HYVPC Director of Programs, and Dr. Howard Spivak, HYVPC Affiliate Faculty, is now available. Released by Wiley Publishers, “Murder Is No Accident” describes not only the problem of violence in America, but also concrete programs that have worked to reduce and prevent violence, with a special focus on the successful turnaround in the City of Boston. Order the book from Wiley Publishers or from

Book Chapter Republished
Fear and the Perception of Alternatives: Asking ‘Why Battered Women Don’t Leave’ Is the Wrong Question,” a chapter authored by Dr. Angela Browne, Associate Director of HICRC, was republished by McGraw Hill in the third edition of The Criminal Justice System and Women: Offenders, Prisoners, Victims, and Workers, edited by Barbara Raffel Price and Natalie J. Sokoloff. More information available at the McGraw Hill website

December 14, 2006
Private Guns, Public Health
Private Guns (pgphcoversmaller.jpg)A paperback edition of HICRC Director Dr. David Hemenway’s book “Private Guns, Public Health” will be issued in January 2007 containing a forward summary of literature of the past two years. This book was published by the University of Michigan Press in April 2004. Described as “the first complete picture of the public-health approach to gun violence, and a commonsense plan for ending this American epidemic,” the book tackles the issue of firearm injury and suggests public policies that can work toward prevention.


August 14, 2006
HICRC study shows parents of teens less likely than parents of children to store guns safely
Our latest article, “Are household firearms stored less safely in homes with adolescents?”, published last week in Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, has been receiving a fair amount of national press. The study, based on findings from our 2004 National Firearms Study, found that gun-owning parents whose children were aged 13-17 years were significantly more likely to have an unlocked firearm in the home compared to gun-owning parents whose children were 12 or younger (42 percent vs. 29 percent). This suggests that parents of older children may be less vigilant about keeping firearms stored securely, possibly because they believe teenagers will act responsibly around firearms. Renee M. Johnson, PhD, the study’s lead author, explains that “unfortunately, parents of older kids are not basing their decisions about storage on the true risks imposed by firearms: Teenagers are exponentially more likely than younger children to die from firearm injury, especially suicide.” Renee did telephone interviews last week with CNN Radio and also with CBS Radio. Click on the links below to see the print coverage:
Washington Post
View the press release from the Harvard School of Public Health


Washington Post and CNN Report Findings from Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine Study
National news agencies are reporting on the findings from a recently published HICRC study on parental misperceptions about gun storage and children’s handling of firearms. Study co-author Dr. Matthew Miller, Associate Director of HICRC, was interviewed by CNN twice during the week of May 29-June 2 about the study and participated in a live online discussion on the Washington Post web site. From the Washington Post coverage:

“A new study involving 201 parents and an equal number of their children has found that 39 percent of kids knew the location of their parents’ firearms, while 22 percent said they had handled the weapons, despite their parents’ assertions to the contrary. Parents who had talked to their children about gun safety were just as likely to be misinformed about their children’s actions as those who said they never had discussed the matter.”

In Harm’s Way: Guns and Kids (Washington Post)


Associate Director Matthew Miller Awarded American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Young Investigator Grant
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention has selected HICRC Associate Director Dr. Matthew Miller for its Young Investigator Award. This grant award, which includes two years of partial funding, will support Dr. Miller’s project “Suicide Risk Factors for Elderly Americans: The Role of Physical and Mental Illness.”


Hemenway named Visiting Professor-at-Large at UVM
As the first James Marsh Visiting Professor-at-Large at the University of Vermont (UVM), David Hemenway spent the week of March 27-31 giving numerous presentations on economics, public health, injury and violence prevention.  The Professor-at-Large program at UVM brings outstanding individuals of international distinction to campus to invigorate the intellectual and cultural life of the university.  Visiting Professors-at-Large are expected come to the campus for several one- to two-week visits over a six-year term-of-office.  Hemenway’s March visit culminated in a public lecture titled “While you were Sleeping: Success Stories in Injury and Violence Prevention.”


Recent Articles and Reviews on “Private Guns, Public Health”
JAMA: Books, Journals, New Media
Harvard Magazine: Death by the Barrel
Health Affairs: Prevention Before Blame
New England Journal of Medicine: Book Review
Journal of Emergency Nursing: Media Review
New York Times: A Kind of Firefighting
New York Times Op-Ed: Lock and Load
NPR Morning Edition: Author: Gun Violence Is A Public Health Issue
C-SPAN2 BookTV: Speech at Politics and Prose Bookstore

Order the book through the
University of Michigan Press site or from (30% Discount). Search and view pages from the book at Google Print.

Order the book through the
University of Michigan Press site or from (30% Discount). Search and view pages from the book at Google Print. Harvard Public Health Review Article on NVISS/NVDRS
“Death By Violent Means: Who’s at Risk?”
The Spring 2006 issue of the Harvard Public Health Review features an article on HICRC’s involvement in the development of the CDC’s National Violent Death Reporting System, a set of software tools and databases which will serve as a repository for data collected on suicides, homicides, and other violent deaths that occur in the US. The system is already proving useful in adding rich information to the knowledge base about suicide risk factors. Harvard Public Health Review