Preventing Youth Violence and Delinquency through a Universal School-Based Prevention Approach

Department of Public Health, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, 411 East 69th Street, New York, NY 10021, USA.
Prevention Science (Impact Factor: 2.63). 01/2007; 7(4):403-8. DOI: 10.1007/s11121-006-0057-y
Source: PubMed


Violence is an important public health problem among adolescents in the United States. Substance use and violence tend to co-occur among adolescents and appear to have similar etiologies. The present study examined the extent to which a comprehensive prevention approach targeting an array of individual-level risk and protective factors and previously found effective in preventing tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drug use is capable of decreasing violence and delinquency. Schools (N=41) were randomly assigned to intervention and control conditions. Participants in the 20 intervention schools received the Life Skills Training prevention program including material focusing on violence and the media, anger management, and conflict resolution skills. Survey data were collected from 4,858 sixth grade students prior to the intervention and three months later after the intervention. Findings showed significant reductions in violence and delinquency for intervention participants relative to controls. Stronger prevention effects were found for students who received at least half of the preventive intervention. These effects include less verbal and physical aggression, fighting, and delinquency. The results of this study indicate that a school-based prevention approach previously found to prevent tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drug use can also prevent violence and delinquency.

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    • "Several substance use interventions incorporate similar selfmanagement and social skills training components (Botvin and Kantor 2000; Ellickson et al. 2003; McNeal et al. 2004). One example is the substance use prevention Life Skills Training program (LST), which has been shown to also reduce verbal aggression and forms of physical aggression among adolescents (Botvin et al. 2006). Another example is the All Stars program. "
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    ABSTRACT: Aggression-related problems such as assault and homicide among adolescents and young adults exact considerable social and economic costs. Although progress has been made, additional research is needed to help combat this persistent problem. Several lines of research indicate that parental hostility is an especially potent predictor of adolescent aggression, although most longitudinal research has focused on clarifying the direction of effects. In this study, we used longitudinal data from the PROSPER project (N = 580; 54.8 % female), a primarily rural Caucasian preventative intervention sample, to examine developmental change in early- to mid-adolescent aggressive behavior problems (age 11-16 years). In addition, we examined maternal hostility as a predictor of developmental change in aggression and the PROSPER preventative intervention, designed to reduce substance use and aggression, as a potential influence on this association. Lastly, several studies indicate that variation in the DRD4 7-repeat gene moderates both parenting and intervention influences on externalizing behavior. Accordingly, we examined the potential moderating role of DRD4. As hypothesized, there was a significant maternal hostility by intervention interaction indicating that the intervention reduced the negative impact of maternal hostility on adolescent change in aggressive behavior problems. DRD4 7-repeat status (7+ vs. 7-) further conditioned this association whereby control group 7+ adolescents with hostile mothers showed increasing aggressive behavior problems. In contrast, aggression decreased for 7+ adolescents with similarly hostile mothers in the intervention. Implications for prevention are discussed as well as current perspectives in candidate gene-by-environment interaction research.
    Journal of Youth and Adolescence 10/2014; 44(3). DOI:10.1007/s10964-014-0198-4 · 2.72 Impact Factor
    • "The best evidence for the effectiveness of intervention programs comes from the results of randomized controlled trials (Mytton et al. 2006). Universal prevention programs have focused on all children attending a school or a class (Botvin et al. 2006; Riggs et al. 2006), while indicated prevention programs have confined the intervention to those children who have been identified as being at risk for developing serious behavioral problems (Conduct Problems Prevention Research Group 2002; Mytton et al. 2006). There have been few programs that have been used for both universal prevention and for indicated prevention or treatment . "
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    ABSTRACT: Children with high levels of aggressive behavior create a major management problem in school settings and interfere with the learning environment of their classmates. We report results from a group-randomized trial of a program aimed at preventing aggressive behaviors. The purpose of the current study, therefore, was to determine the extent to which an indicated prevention program, Coping Power Program, is capable of reducing behavioral problems and improving pro-social behavior when delivered as a universal classroom-based prevention intervention. Nine classes (five first grade and four second grade) were randomly assigned to intervention or control conditions. Findings showed a significant reduction in overall problematic behaviors and in inattention-hyperactivity problems for the intervention classes compared to the control classes. Students who received Coping Power Program intervention also showed more pro-social behaviors at postintervention. The implications of these findings for the implementation of strategies aimed at preventing aggressive behavior in school settings are discussed.
    Prevention Science 06/2014; 16(3). DOI:10.1007/s11121-014-0501-3 · 2.63 Impact Factor
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    • "Consequences related to alcohol misuse and risky sexual behavior argue for identifying common predisposing factors as potential targets for early intervention [6] [7]. One strategy is to test whether early predictors of alcohol use are also statistically predictive of risky sex. "
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    ABSTRACT: This longitudinal study tested the hypothesis that neurobehavioral disinhibition (ND) in childhood, mediated by alcohol use, portends risky sexual behavior (number of sexual partners) in midadolescence. Participants were 410 adolescent boys. Neurobehavioral disinhibition was assessed at 11.3 years of age. Frequency and quantity of alcohol use on a typical drinking occasion were assessed at 13.4 years of age at first follow-up, and sexual behavior at 16.0 years at second follow-up. Quantity of alcohol consumed on a typical drinking occasion, but not frequency of alcohol use, mediated the relation between ND and number of sexual partners. These findings indicate that number of sexual partners in midadolescence is predicted by individual differences in boys' psychological self-regulation during childhood and moderate alcohol consumption in early adolescence, and that ND may be a potential target for multi-outcome public health interventions.
    Journal of Adolescent Health 07/2013; 53(4). DOI:10.1016/j.jadohealth.2013.05.017 · 3.61 Impact Factor
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