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March 1993

A Youth Violence Prevention ProgramDescription and Preliminary Evaluation

Author Affiliations

From the Washington Community Violence Prevention Progran (Dr Gainer), the Trauma Service and Surgical Critical Care and Emergency Services (Dr Champion), Washington (DC) Hospital Center; and The Johns Hopkins University Injury Prevention Center, Baltimore, Md (Dr Webster).

Arch Surg. 1993;128(3):303-308. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1993.01420150059011

• Problem Statement.  —In response to growing violence, primary prevention programs have been launched, but scientific rationale and credible evaluations have been lacking.

Methods.  —Fifth and seventh-grade students in three inner-city schools (n=135) participated in a violence prevention program. Controls consisted of students from the same schools and grades during the following school year (n=115). Students were taught social problem-solving skills and risk factors for violence. Multivariate analyses were performed on posttest measures while controlling for baseline differences.

Results.  —Program participants were much less likely to define social problems in adversarial ways, were less likely to provide violent solutions in hypothetical conflict situations, listed more negative consequences to using violence, and were less inclined to legitimatize violence. Risk factor knowledge also was significantly increased. No increase was shown in the students' abilities to identify viable nonviolent solutions.

Conclusions.  —The program produced immediate influences on knowledge and some attitudes and social skills shown to be related to aggressive behavior.(Arch Surg. 1993;128:303-308)