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Striving to Understand Violent Behavior and Young People

The contrast between Dr. Paul Boxer’s research interests and his even temperament could not be more acute. Boxer’s research studies the development, prevention, and treatment of violent and nonviolent antisocial behavior, particularly among youths involved in the juvenile justice system.  He looks at behaviors ranging from "low-level" or more mild forms of aggression and harassment, to habitual violent and nonviolent antisocial behavior, to extreme incidents of assault and self-injury.

One of his current research interests is studying the impact on children’s development of ethnic and political violence in the Middle East, and how this violence affects families, schools, and communities. Other ongoing research in his program examines the links between violent media consumption and violent behavior, the effects of exposure to violent crime on children’s mental health, and how experiences during incarceration interfere with successful re-entry to the community among juvenile and adult offenders.

In 2015 Boxer was awarded a $75,000 Chancellors Seed Grant to fund his work with the RU-N Center for Services and research on Youth Vuiolence and Juvenile Justice.

Boxer’s work in the Evidence-based Institute aims to improve the delivery and impact of evidence-based practices in the juvenile justice system. He is currently conducting research that examines the effectiveness of interventions for gang-involved youth, and working with community and government agencies to design new approaches for helping high-risk, violence-prone youth. His work has been funded by the US Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the Centers for Disease Control, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the National Institute of Mental Health, and the National Science Foundation.

His areas of specialization are juvenile delinquency, evidence-based practices and violence. The NJ Department of Education relied upon that expertise in 2014, when Boxer co-authored a pamphlet for the state about the effects of violence in the media. The pamphlet was created as a resource for educators and parents and was  distributed through every school district in the state.