The north carolina youth violence prevention center: Using a multifaceted, ecological approach to reduce youth violence in impoverished, rural areas

Paul R. Smokowski, Martica Bacallao, Caroline Bill Robertson Evans, Rodderick A. Rose, Katie Stalker, Shenyang Guo, Qi Wu, James Barbee, Meredith Bower

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: Youth violence is best tackled through a multifaceted approach targeting risk and protective factors at multiple ecological levels. The North Carolina Youth Violence Prevention Center (NC-YVPC) is an example of such an approach. This article provides a comprehensive synthesis of NC-YVPC design, implementation, and results. Method: NC-YVPC packaged and implemented 3 evidence-based programs to decrease youth violence in a rural North Carolina community where violence was prevalent. Positive Action, a universal school-based program, was administered in 13 middle schools for 3 years. Parenting Wisely, an online program to improve parenting skills, was provided to 300 parents. Teen Court, a community-based restorative justice alternative to the traditional juvenile-justice system, was provided to 400 adolescents. In addition, county-level data were collected to examine if and how the NC-YVPC programs changed county levels of youth violence. Results: Positive Action participation was associated with increased self-esteem and decreased school hassles; Parenting Wisely participants were more confident and had less conflict with their children; Teen Court participants reported improved mental and behavioral health. Some county-level indicators of violence decreased. Conclusions: This summary of NC-YVPC findings highlights the utility of implementing a multifaceted approach to decrease and prevent youth violence and the importance of fostering a strong partnership between academic institutions and the community.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of the Society for Social Work and Research
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018

Keywords

  • Adolescents
  • Intervention research
  • Rural
  • Youth violence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science

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