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 pdf icon[4 MB, 64 Pages], 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. Also available in Spanish pdf icon[3.89 MB, 68 Pages].

Preventing Youth Violence

Preventing Youth Violence

Strategy Approach
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

See Youth Violence Resources for articles and publications about prevention strategies for youth violence.

Page last reviewed: March 2, 2020