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Supporting violence prevention research

The Institute for Public Health will award $15,000 to Patricia Cavazos-Rehg, PhD, in Washington University’s Department of Psychiatry, to support her project “Examination of the role of social media on substance use and violence behaviors.” Dr. Cavazos-Rehg will work with colleagues Laura Jean Bierut, MD of the School of Medicine and Edward Spitznagel, PhD, in the Department of Mathematics on this project to investigate the ways that social media can influence substance use and violence. The team will pilot a school-based survey to uncover connections between health risk behaviors—such as depression, suicidal thoughts, violence behaviors, and substance abuse—and exposure and engagement with social media.

This seed funding from the Institute is meant to support an eventual application to the NIH program “Research on the Health Determinants and Consequences of Violence and its Prevention, Particularly Firearm Violence,” to fund a refined, and larger-scale, version of the study.

The Institute remains interested and committed to supporting cross-disciplinary research projects that relate to the Gun Violence: A Public Health Crisis initiative. For more details contact us at