Prevention Strategies

Youth violence is a serious problem that can have lasting harmful effects on victims and their family, friends, and communities. The goal for youth violence prevention is to stop youth violence from happening in the first place.

Preventing youth violence requires addressing factors at all levels of the social ecology—the individual, relational, community, and societal levels.

CDC’s technical package, A Comprehensive Technical Package for the Prevention of Youth Violence and Associated Risk Behaviors, highlights strategies based on the best available evidence to help states and communities prevent or reduce youth violence. The strategies are intended to work in combination and reinforce each other. Strategies and their corresponding approaches are listed in the table below.

Preventing Youth Violence

Preventing Youth Violence

 Promote family environments that support healthy development
  • Early childhood home visitation
  • Parenting skill and family relationship programs
 Provide quality education early in life
  • Preschool enrichment with family engagement
 Strengthen youth’s skills
  • Universal school-based programs
 Connect youth to caring adults and activities
  • Mentoring programs
  • After-school programs
 Create protective community environments
  • Modify the physical and social environment
  • Reduce exposure to community-level risks
  • Street outreach and community norm change
 Intervene to lessen harms and prevent future risk
  • Treatment to lessen the harms of violence exposures
  • Treatment to prevent problem behavior and further involvement in violence
  • Hospital-community partnerships

Resources and Planning Tools

  • Best Practices for Implementation
    This guidance is intended to help states and communities take action to select and implement the strategies presented in the technical packages for violence prevention.
  • The Community Guide for Violence PreventionExternal
    The Community Guide, developed by the Task Force for Community Preventive Services, includes recommendations for preventing youth violence based on systematic reviews of evidence-based strategies.
  • Blueprints for Healthy Youth DevelopmentExternal
    Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development is an online resource for communities to learn more about model or promising programs that reduce youth violence or key risk factors for violence and promote healthy youth behavior and relationships.
  • Striving To Reduce Youth Violence Everywhere (STRYVE) Online
    STRYVE is a national initiative led by CDC to prevent youth violence. STRYVE Online is a resource on CDC’s VetoViolence website that helps communities develop and implement comprehensive plans to prevent youth violence.
  • Health Curriculum Analysis Tool (HECAT)
    The HECAT contains guidance, appraisal tools, and resources to help schools conduct an analysis of health education curricula based on the National Health Education Standards and CDC’s Characteristics of an Effective Health Education Curriculum.
  • School Health Index (SHI)
    SHI is a tool that enables a school to identify the strengths and weaknesses of its health and safety policies and programs; develop an action plan for improving student health and safety; and involve teachers, parents, students, and the community in improving school services.
  • Veto Violence
    CDC’s online source of free violence prevention trainings, tools, and resources.

Other Resources

Page last reviewed: February 27, 2019