Wednesday, April 16, 2014

School-based violence prevention strategy: a pilot evaluation

BACKGROUND: Violence has recently been reported among a primarily young, minority population in Nashville, Tennessee. School-based programs have been proven as effective methods of reducing violent behavior, beliefs, and actions that lead to violence among adolescents. METHODS: Investigators implemented a rigorous search for an appropriate school-based violence prevention program for Metropolitan Nashville middle school students utilizing a systematic review and discussion group with victims of violence. 27 programs nation-wide were reviewed and 2 discussion groups with African American males under the age of 25 admitted to a level 1 trauma center for assault-related injuries were conducted. Our findings led to a single, evidence-based conflict resolution program. In conjunction with educators, we evaluated the program’s effectiveness in a pilot study in a Nashville middle school with high rates of violence. RESULTS: 122 students completed the conflict resolution program and described their behavior and experiences with violence in a pre-test/post-test self-rate questionnaire. Results showed a significant decrease in violent behavior and an increase in students’ competencies to deal with violence (p less than 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: This study shows that a reduction in violent behavior and beliefs among middle school students can be achieved through the implementation of a targeted violence intervention program. A larger-scale intervention is needed to develop more conclusive evidence of effectiveness.
Source: Journal of Injury and Violence Research

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