Conducting Research with Schools and Communities in the U.S. and Around the World to Facilitate Positive Adjustment in Youth and Families
logo: Project COPE [View Image]
Project COPE was a 4-year longitudinal study funded by the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA). The goals of Project COPE were to understand how exposure to community and peer violence, poverty, and similar stressors are associated with physiological responses to stress and to adjustment (drug use, aggression, academic performance, anxiety and depression).
Families (a maternal caregiver and one adolescent) were interviewed annually, beginning when the adolescent was either in the 5th or 8th grade. In Wave 3 of the study, we also interviewed a subset of biological and social fathers. Project COPE focused on a number of aspects in the lives of these families, including adolescent’s coping resources, parent/guardian and family resources, and parent/guardian adjustment. Project COPE was built on a model of risk and resilience, with attention to risk factors for adjustment difficulties, and individual, family-level, and community-level protective factors. Core assumptions underlying the study include:
We used both quantitative and qualitative methods in this work. As part of the adolescent interview, we collected saliva samples, which we assayed for stress hormones and enzymes, including cortisol and alpha amylase. Data collection is complete, and we currently are in the process of coding and analyzing data.