Youth violence is a serious problem that can have lasting harmful effects on victims and their family, friends, and communities. CDC’s goal is to stop youth violence from happening in the first place.
In order to prevent youth violence, we must understand and address risk and protective factors at the individual, relational, community, and societal levels.
CDC developed a resource, A Comprehensive Technical Package for the Prevention of Youth Violence and Associated Risk Behaviors pdf icon[4 MB, 64 Pages], to help communities take advantage of the best available evidence to prevent youth violence. This resource is available in English and Spanish pdf icon[3.89 MB, 68 Pages] and can impact individual behaviors and the relationship, family, school, community, and societal factors that influence the risk and protective factors for violence. Strategies and their corresponding approaches are listed in the table below.
Preventing Youth Violence
|Promote family environments that support healthy development||
|Provide quality education early in life||
|Strengthen youth’s skills||
|Connect youth to caring adults and activities||
|Create protective community environments||
|Intervene to lessen harms and prevent future risk||
Everyone can help support teens and prevent violence
Parents and Families Can:
- Learn about links between teens’ experiences with violence and their health.
- Talk with teens about violence and ask how you can support them.
- Reach out to local programs to learn effective parenting practices.
- Make teen mentoring, apprenticeship, and leadership programs more available.
- Collaborate with health departments and other partners to promote healthy and safe neighborhoods.
- Make use of effective social and economic policies that reduce violence.
- Adopt policies and practices that create safe and supportive environments.
- Teach teens skills to navigate social and emotional challenges.
- Connect students to health and mental health services.
- Build strong bonds between staff and students to improve connectedness to school.
- Visit CDC What Works in Schools for more information.
Empower teens to be part of the solution. Directly engaging teens in preventing violence helps them:
- Make healthy choices.
- Be a leader and voice for change for healthier communities and schools.
- Advise community and school decision-makers.
- Promote respect and empathy with family, friends, and peers.
See Youth Violence Resources for publications, data sources, and prevention resources for youth violence.