Youth Violence
January 2019
Number of Participants

Violence as a Contagion

Using the “violence as disease” paradigm that was established  by physician Gary Slutkin (Cure Violence), our Violence As A  Contagion research and community engagement endeavor is focused on how various sociocultural dynamics precede and follow the eruption of interpersonal and intimate partner violence. Recognizing violence as, most fundamentally, a public health issue, this mixed methods research considers both the micro and macro-level risk factors for violence as well as the broad galaxy of health and social consequences, framing violence as a condition that can replicate and "infect" individuals and their communities.

Focusing on violence in Chicago, New York City, and Trinidad, our work in this space is the only in our group that examines public health matters outside of a purely domestic (American) context, by instead considering the contagious dimensions of violence from a global vista. Also, taking a divergent approach from other research in this vein, our research here is specifically focused on understanding situational and contextual--rather than socioeconomic or epidemiologic--risk factors for interpersonal violence. As a systemic offshoot to this research,  our research in this vein also considers the matter of structural and environmental violence and the various attendant socio-legal injustices that emerge.


Ezell JM, Araia M, Abouelrous N*, Van de Kieft A**, Borrero N, Olson B**. Reconsidering the “violence-as-a-disease” model: Examining violence psychopathologies in urban adolescents. Psychology of Violence. 2022 Dec 22.

Stewart R*, Ezell JM. Understanding Perceptions, Barriers, and Opportunities around Restorative Justice in Urban High Schools. Urban Education. 2022 Aug 9:00420859221119110

Ezell JM. Understanding the situational context for interpersonal violence: A review of individual- level attitudes, attributions, and triggers. Trauma, Violence, and Abuse. 2019 Aug 15:24-49.