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Youth Violence: Best Practices of Youth Violence Prevention — A Sourcebook for Community Action

Table from Chapter Two, Social Cognitive Strategy (Pages 153-160)

Curriculum Scope for Different Age Groups

Preschool/ Early Elementary (K-2) School Elementary/
Middle School High School
  • Learning self-management (e.g., when waiting one's turn; when entering and leaving classrooms at the start and end of the day and other transition times; when working on something in a group or alone
  • Learning social norms about appearance(e.g., washing face or hair, brushing teeth)
  • Recognizing dangers to health and safety (e.g., crossing street, electrical sockets, pills that look like candy)
  • Being physically healthy--adequate nutrition; screenings to identify visual, hearing, language problems.
  • Understanding safety issues such as interviewing people at the door when home alone; saying no to strangers on the phone or in person.
  • Managing time
  • Showing respect for others
  • Can ask for, give, and receive help
  • Negotiating disputes, deescalating conflicts
  • Admitting mistakes, apologizing when appropriate
  • Initiating own activities
  • Emerging leadership skills
  • Integrating feeling and thinking with language, replacing or complementing that which can be expressed only in action, image, or affectivity
  • Differentiating the emotions, needs, and feelings of different people in different contexts--if not spontaneously, then in response to adult prompting and assistance
  • Recognizing and resisting inappropriate touching, sexual behaviors
  • Ability to calm self down when upset and to verbalize what happened and how one is feeling differently
  • Encouraging perspective taking and empathetic identification with others
  • Learning strategies for coping with, communicating about, and managing strong feelings.
  • Being aware of sexual factors, recognizing and accepting body changes, recognizing and resisting inappropriate sexual behaviors
  • Developing skills for analyzing stressful social situations, identifying feelings, goals, carrying out requests and refusal skills
Key conceptshonesty, fairness, trust, hope, confidence, keeping promises, empathyinitiative, purpose, goals, justice, fairness, friendship, equity, dependability, pride, creativitydemocracy, pioneering, importance of the environment (spaceship Earth, earth as habitat, ecological environment, global interdependence, ecosystems), perfection and imperfection, prejudice, freedom, citizenship, liberty, home, industriousness, continuity, competencerelationships, healthy relationships, intimacy, love, responsibility, commitment, respect, love and loss, caring, knowledge, growth, human commonalities, work/workplace, emotional intelligence, spirituality, ideas, inventions, identity, self-awareness
Peer/ Social
  • Being a member of a group: sharing, listening, taking turns, cooperating, negotiating disputes, being considerate and helpful
  • Initiating interactions
  • Can resolve conflict without fighting; compromising
  • Understands justifiable self-defense
  • Empathetic toward peers: showing emotional distress when others are suffering; developing a sense of helping rather than hurting or neglecting; respecting rather than belittling, and supporting and protecting rather than dominating others; awareness of the thoughts, feelings, and experiences of others (perspective taking)
  • Listening carefully
  • Conducting a reciprocal conversation
  • Using tone of voice, eye contact, posture, and language appropriate to peers (and adults)
  • Skills for making friends, entering peer groups--can judge peers' feelings, thoughts, plans, actions
  • Learning to include and exclude others
  • Expanding peer groups
  • Friendships based on mutual trust and assistance
  • Shows altruistic behavior among friends
  • Becoming assertive, self-calming, cooperative
  • Learning to cope with peer pressure to conform (e.g., dress)
  • Learning to set boundaries, to deal with secrets
  • Dealing positively with rejection
  • Choosing friends thoughtfully but aware of group norms, popular trends
  • Developing peer leadership skills
  • Dealing with conflict among friends
  • Recognizing and accepting alternatives to aggression and violence
  • Belonging is recognized as very important
  • Effective behavior in peer groups
  • Peer leadership/ responsible membership
  • Using request and refusal skills
  • Initiating and maintaining cross-gender friends and romantic relationships
  • Understanding responsible behavior at social events
  • Dealing with drinking and driving
  • Being a family member: being considerate and helpful, expressing caring and developing capacity for intimacy
  • Making contributions at home--chores, repsonsibilities
  • Relating to siblings--sharing, taking turns, intiating interactions, negotiating disputes, helping, caring
  • Internalizing values modeled in family
  • Self-confident and trusting--what they can expect from adults; believe that they are important; that their needs and wishes matter; that they can succeed; that they can trust their caregivers; that adults can be helpful.
  • Intellectually inquisitive--like to explore their home and the world around them
  • Homes (and communities) free from violence
  • Home life includes consistent, stimulating contact with caring adults
  • Understanding different family forms and structures
  • Cooperating around household tasks
  • Acknowledging compliments
  • Valuing own uniqueness as individual and as family contributor
  • Sustaining positive interactions with parents and other adult relatives, friends
  • Showing affection, negative feelings appropriately
  • Being close, establishing intimacy and boundaries
  • Accepting failure/difficulty and continuing effort
  • Recognizing conflict between parents' and peers' values (e.g. dress, importance of achievement)
  • Learning about stages in adults' and parents' lives
  • Valuing of rituals
  • Becoming independent
  • Talking with parents about daily activities, learning self-disclosure skills
  • Preparing for parenting, family responsibilities
Reasonable Expectations
  • Paying attention to teachers
  • Understanding similarities and differences (e.g., skin color, physical disabilities)
  • Working to the best of one's ability
  • Using words effectively, especially for feelings
  • Cooperating
  • Responding positively to approval
  • Thinking out loud, asking questions
  • Expressing self in art, music games, dramatic play
  • Likes starting more than finishing
  • Deriving security in repetition, routines
  • Able to articulate likes and dislikes, has clear sense of strengths, areas of mastery, can articulate these, and has opportunities to engage in these
  • Exploring the environment
  • Self-confident and trusting--what they can expect from adults in the school; believing that they are important; that they can succeed; that they can trust adults in school; that adults in school can be helpful
  • Setting academic goals, planning study time, completing assignments
  • Learning to work on teams
  • Accepting similarities and differences (e.g. appearance, ability levels)
  • Cooperating, helping--especially younger children
  • Bouncing back from mistakes
  • Able to work hard on projects
  • Beginning, carrying through on, and completing tasks
  • Good problem solving
  • Forgiving after anger
  • Generally truthful
  • Showing pride in accomplishments
  • Can calm down after being upset, losing one's temper, or crying
  • Able to follow directions for school tasks, routines
  • Carrying out commitments to classmates, teachers
  • Showing appropriate helpfulness
  • Knowing how to ask for help
  • Refusing negative peer pressure
  • Will best accept modified roles
  • Enjoys novelty over repetition
  • Can learn planning and management skill to complete school requirements
  • Making a realistic academic plan, recognizing personal strengths, persisting to achieve goals in spite of setbacks
  • Planning a career/ post high school pathways
  • Group effectiveness: interpersonal skills, negotiation, teamwork
  • Organizational effectiveness and leadership- making a contribution to classroom and school
Appropriate Environment
  • Clear classroom, school rules
  • Opportunities for responsibility in the classroom
  • Authority clear, fair, deserving of respect
  • Frequent teacher redirection
  • Classrooms and school-related locations free from violence and threat
  • School life includes consistent, stimulating contact with caring adults
  • Opportunities to comfort peer or classmate in distress, help new person feel accepted/ included
  • Being in groups, group activities
  • Making/ using effective group rules
  • Participating in story-based learning
  • Opportunities to negotiate
  • Time for laughter, occasional silliness
  • Minimizing lecture-mode of instruction
  • Varying types of student products (deemphasize written reports)
  • Opportunities to participate in setting policy
  • Clear expectations about truancy, substance use, violent behavior
  • Opportunities for setting, reviewing personal norms/standards
  • Group/academic/ extracurricular memberships
  • Guidance/ structure for goal stting, future planning, post-school transition
  • Opportunities for participating in school service and other nonacademic involvement
  • Being a role model for younger students
  • Curiosity about how and why things happen
  • Recognizing a pluralistic society (e.g., aware of holidays, customs, cultural groups)
  • Accepting responsibility for the environment
  • Participating in community events (e.g. religious observances, recycling)
  • Joining outside the school
  • Learning about, accepting cultural community differences
  • Helping people in need
  • Understanding and accepting differences in one's community
  • Identifying and resisting negative group influences
  • Developing involvements in community projects
  • Apprenticing/ training for leadership roles
  • Contributing to community service or environmental projects
  • Accepting responsibility for the environment
  • Understanding the elements of employment
  • Understanding issues of government
Events Triggering Preventive Services
  • Coping with divorce
  • Dealing with a death in the family
  • Becoming a big brother or sister
  • Dealing with family moves
  • Coping with divorce
  • Dealing with a death in the family
  • Becoming a big brother or sister
  • Dealing with family moves

  • Coping with divorce
  • Dealing with a death in the family
  • Dealing with a classmate's drug use or delinquent behavior

  • Coping with divorce
  • Dealing with a death in the family
  • Dealing with a classmate's drug use or delinquent behavior, injury or death due to violence, pregnancy, suicide, HIV/ AIDS
  • Transition from high school to workplace, college, living away from home

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