Article

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

ABSTRACT 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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    ABSTRACT: Introduction This review sought to determine the current evidence on the effectiveness of programmes available in the UK that aim to enhance the social and emotional skills development of children and young people aged 4-20 years. The review was commissioned by the Early Intervention Foundation (EIF), the Cabinet Office and the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission as part of wider efforts to encourage evidence-based commissioning and delivery of services for young people. Based on a systematic search of the literature, this report presents a narrative synthesis (i.e. a qualitative summary of findings as opposed to a statistical meta-analysis) of the review findings from evaluations of programmes implemented in the UK in both the school and out-of-school settings. This review addresses the question of ‘what works’ in enhancing children and young people’s social and emotional skills and the quality of existing provision in the UK. Extensive developmental research indicates that the effective mastery of social and emotional skills supports the achievement of positive life outcomes, including good health and social wellbeing, educational attainment and employment and the avoidance of behavioural and social difficulties. There is also a substantive international evidence base which shows that these skills can be enhanced and positive outcomes achieved through the implementation of effective interventions for young people. There are a number of ways of defining social and emotional skills. CASEL (2005) defined social and emotional skills as relating to the development of five interrelated sets of cognitive, affective and behavioural competencies: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills and responsible decision making. The Young Foundation (McNeil et al., 2012) identified a core set of social and emotional capabilities that are of value to young people. These capabilities have been grouped into seven clusters, each of which is supported by an evidence base that demonstrates their association with positive life outcomes. These capabilities include; managing feelings, communication, confidence and agency, planning and problem solving, relationships and leadership, creativity, resilience and determination. Drawing on existing models and frameworks, a list of these core social and emotional skills were included in this review. The key objective of this review was to systematically review the peer review and grey literature (2004- 2014) examining evidence on the effectiveness of school and out-of-school interventions implemented in the UK that are aimed at enhancing children and young people’s social and emotional skills. In reviewing the evidence, specific questions were addressed: • what programmes are effective in enhancing social and emotional skills in the (i) school setting and (ii) out-of-school setting? • what is the strength of the evidence? • what programmes/strategies are ineffective in enhancing social and emotional skills? • what are the key characteristics of effective programme? • what are the implementation requirements for these programmes / what implementation factors are important in achieving programme outcomes? • what interventions are effective according to age / gender / ethnicity /socio-economic background and level of vulnerability • what is the evidence on the costs and cost-benefits of these interventions?
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    Youth Substance Abuse in Canada, 01/2007: pages 38-44; Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse.

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