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St. Thomas University News Release

Office of University Advancement
St. Thomas University
Fredericton, NB, E3B 5G3
Tel (506) 452-0522, Fax (506) 460-0335

For Immediate Release: June 14, 2002

St. Thomas University researchers receive grants

St. Thomas University researchers who have developed a program to prevent violence between youth and seniors have received a $65,000 grant from the federal government as part of a $3.4 million regional crime prevention strategy.

Dr. Susan Reid-MacNevin and Dr. Bill Randall of the St. Thomas University Centre for Research on Youth at Risk will gather information and prepare a manual and fact sheets on ageism and fear of crime, and create opportunities for young offenders and youth at risk to interact with seniors.

"This project forms the essence of crime prevention, through social developments, by bridging the gap between two generations which fear each other and misunderstand each other," said Reid-MacNevin, "yet they often share many of the same issues about independent living and decision making about their own lives. The Centre for Research on Youth at Risk is proud to be included in this partnership program to bring our research skills to the communities that will most benefit from breaking down ageist attitudes."

Randall added, "We know from our research on narrative gerontology that people's life story has had a profound impact on the way we come to know and understand our own unique contribution to the world around us. It is comforting to see the sharing of story as such an important component of breaking down stereotypes and ageist attitudes while strengthening and enriching the lives of both seniors and youth at risk."

The project will be conducted at two sites, Miramichi, NB and Tyne Valley, PEI. These communities were selected because of their rural location and the existence in close proximity of a secure custody facility for young offenders and a senior's complex.

The fact sheets will include statistical information related to fear of crime, crime rates and victimization rates for both youth and the elderly. A manual will also be developed outlining the process used in each community with complete itinerary and lessons learned through the implementation process with a view to assisting other communities to develop a similar intergenerational program.

On Intergenerational Day, Oct. 6, each of the sites will host a community hall meeting to share the results of their youth-senior connection with the broader community.

Media Contacts:

Dr. Susan Reid-MacNevin, Criminology
St. Thomas University
Dr. Bill Randall, Gerontology
St. Thomas University