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: 3.15). 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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Available from: Gilbert J Botvin
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    • "For example, Second Step: Student Success Through Prevention is a violence prevention program for middle school students focused on enhancing empathy, communication, problem-solving, and anger management skills (Espelage et al. 2013). Another example of an individual-level skill-building program is the Life Skills Training Program, which addresses substance use prevention for elementary to high school students (Botvin et al. 2006). The Life Skills Training Program aims to improve youths' self-esteem and skills related to stress and coping, emotion management, resistance against peer and media pressure to use drugs, and social competence (Botvin and Tortu 1988). "

    Full-text · Chapter · Dec 2015
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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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