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Project SPARK

Study Title: Project SPARK: Multi-site External Validation and Improvement of a Clinical Screening Tool for Future Firearm Violence

Researchers at the University of Michigan developed the SAFETY score using machine learning methods, derived from data related to fighting frequency, number of friends who carry weapons, frequency of hearing gunshots in your neighborhood, and frequency of being assaulted with a firearm (including threats). The 10-point, four item score showed a clear gradient of increasing firearm violence risk (as victim or perpetrator) over the next two years and, importantly, outperforms ED visit reason as a standalone predictor.

The purpose of this follow-up study is to validate and improve upon the SAFETY score risk assessment tool using a broader sample of participants from three major cities including Detroit, Seattle, and Philadelphia.

Funded by: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Participating Research Sites


University of Pennsylvania


University of Michigan


University of Washington


Goldstick JE, Kaufman EJ, Delgado MK, Jay J, Carter PM. Commentary: Reducing youth firearm violence and the associated health disparities requires enhanced surveillance and modern behavioral intervention strategies–a commentary on Bottiani et al.(2021). Journal of child psychology and psychiatry. 2021 May;62(5):580-3.

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