P-CASA conducts rigorous quantitative and qualitative research to capture the voices, experiences, and realities of Paterson youth and their families. P-CASA’s research areas include: youth and community empowerment, parenting, ethnic minority youth, substance abuse, violence, and community mobilizing.

In addition to conducting research projects in Paterson, P-CASA relies on the participation of youth and adults in Paterson to voice their concerns regarding community conditions and policies in the form of town hall meetings. Community members are invited to bi-annual meetings where they have an opportunity to hear from panelists and receive education about reducing youth access to drugs in urban communities.


Publications Abstract  PI

The moderating effect of neighborhood sense of community on predictors of substance use among Hispanic urban youth




Hispanic adolescents represent a disproportionate number of youth living in urban communities. These youth confront significant social problems that increase their likelihood for substance use. However, youth that have a greater neighborhood sense of community are postulated, through empowerment theory, to be less influenced by negative environmental experiences and less inclined to engage in drug and alcohol use. We examine the moderating effect neighborhood SOC has on predictors of substance use among Hispanic (N = 538) urban youth in low- (n = 246) and high-conflict homes (n = 292). Using logistic regression analysis and a plotting technique to examine interaction effects, we explore these relationships and provide recommendations for practice and prevention.



Dr. Reid

Dr. Garcia-Reid


Merit in Meritocracy: Uncovering the myth of exceptionality and self-reliance through the voices of urban youth of color



A disproportionate number of urban youth attend under resourced and segregated schools. While tenets of the American Dream are inculcated in urban youth, a dearth of educational resources is available to help realize this dream. This qualitative study explored the narratives of urban youth (N = 85), many of whom sought to be the exceptions, embracing higher education as a pathway to successful futures, yet few identified resources that would make access to higher education possible. The capital accrued in their communities allowed them to navigate their social environment; however, it was an insufficient bridge for future success in higher education. Furthermore, they espoused a belief in their own self-reliance as the one resource on which they could count on. Ironically, the youth also accepted “not making it” a result of their own shortcomings. We link findings to empowerment agents who would cultivate both bridging capital and critical consciousness among/for youth.



Dr. Reid

Dr. Garcia-Reid


The relationship between sexual minority status and suicidal ideations among urban Hispanic adolescents



Youth identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ), and more specifically Hispanic youth identifying as LGBTQ, experience suicidal ideation (SI) at disproportionate rates. Furthermore, adolescents identifying as LGBTQ are likely to experience high rates of bullying, depression, and limited social support, increasing SI. Counselors often have difficulty working with youth at the intersection of sexual and ethnic minority statuses. Using structural equation modeling techniques, the present study examined sexual minority status as a predictor of school bullying, depression, social support, and SI, among urban Hispanic youth (N = 538). The authors also tested social support as a buffering mechanism.



Dr. Reid

Dr. Garcia-Reid


Parent Survey

Youth Survey