Youth Violence Prevention
Violence is a public health problem because of its tremendous impact on the health and well-being of our youth. In 1994, 8,116 young people 15-24 years old were victims of homicide. This amounts to an average of 22 youth homicide victims per day in the US. As the lead agency in injury control, CDC plays a key role in coordinating activities and programs in the Public Health Service to prevent youth violence through it's focus on intervention and evaluation research. Over the last 15 years, CDC has used science to understand the problem of violence in America and to determine what works to prevent it. The public health approach to violence has four major components: 1) description of the problem, 2) identification of risk and protective factors, 3) evaluation of interventions and programs designed to reduce violence, and 4) implementation of promising programs at the community level.
Poverty, discrimination, and lack of opportunities for education and employment are important risk factors for violence and must be addressed as part of any comprehensive solution to youth violence. Strategies for reducing violence should also begin early in life, before young people adopt violent beliefs and behavioral patterns. To determine how to alter these risks and prevent young people from becoming victims or perpetrators of violent behavior, in 1992 CDC began funding projects to evaluate effective interventions for preventing and reducing aggressive behavior among youth. The primary goal of these projects is to determine which interventions are effective in preventing and reducing aggressive and violent behavior. The majority of the projects emphasize primary prevention and are cooperative efforts among schools, health departments and community partners.
Several projects have been funded across the country which have looked at a broad range of promising interventions including peer mediation, conflict resolution training, mentoring, role playing, and efforts to improve parenting skills. These interventions will serve as the framework for developing performance measures aimed at reducing the incidence of youth violence.
Performance Goals and Measures
Performance Goal: Reduce the incidence youth violence.
|FY Baseline||FY 1999 Appropriated||FY 2000 Estimate|
|50% (1994) of students reporting incidents.||Reduce from 50% (in 1994) to 30%, the number of students reporting incidents of physical fighting among program participants in CDC-funded youth violence projects by the year 2000.|
|Develop best practices protocols for implementation and evaluation of youth violence prevention programs by 1999.1|
|0 (1997) Workshops.||Increase the number of regional best practices workshops from 0 in 1997 to 8 by 2000.1|
Verification/Validation of Performance Measures: The Behavioral Frequency Scales will be used to verify and validate this performance measure.