Highlights of research findings and community success stories
The National Centers of Excellence in Youth Violence Prevention (YVPCs) work to develop academic-community partnerships to advance the science and practice of youth violence prevention. They also build the necessary community capacity to prevent violence-related injury and death among youth in high burden communities. This work has improved our understanding of the causes and consequences of youth violence, increased our knowledge of how risk and protective factors contribute to or buffer against youth violence, and strengthened the evidence base of youth violence prevention strategies, including those presented in CDC’s Comprehensive Technical Package for the Prevention of Youth Violence and Associated Risk Behaviors Cdc-pdf[4.09MB, 64Pages, 508]. These strategies represent different levels of the social ecology with efforts intended to impact individual behaviors and also the relationships, families, schools and communities that influence risk and protective factors for youth violence. The strategies are intended to work in combination and reinforce each other to prevent youth violence in a comprehensive and long-term way. The six strategies are to:
- 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 risk
From Research to Practice – Community Success Stories
The National Centers of Excellence in Youth Violence Prevention (YVPCs) are demonstrating significant success preventing violent injuries and death among youth in their respective communities. They are models for other communities across the country working to prevent youth violence.
Chicago Center for Youth Violence Prevention (CCYVP):External
CCYVP developed successful community collaborations that resulted in reductions in youth violence and promoted the healthy development of youth in several area schools and neighborhoods in Chicago. Over five years, homicides decreased by 17% in the Humboldt Park neighborhood as a result of implementing a comprehensive set of youth violence prevention strategies. During this same time period, homicides increased by 10% in other similar communities and 9% across the city.
Youth Violence Prevention Center Denver (YVPC-D):External
YVPC-D’s hallmark community initiative, Steps to Success showed positive, violence-reduction effects in the Montbello neighborhood of Denver, following a multi-year implementation of evidence-based individual- and family-level prevention programs. Steps to Success focused on community ownership, empowerment, and capacity and used a strategic approach to identify, implement and rigorously evaluate comprehensive evidence-based strategies.
Michigan Youth Violence Prevention Center:External
MI-YVPC developed successful community collaborations that resulted in the healthy development of youth in neighborhoods in Flint, MI. An evaluation of a comprehensive set of six preventive strategies found that youth in the intervention community were 90% less likely to be a victim of assault than those living in other communities. Their efforts also resulted in an 87% reduction in expected counts of assault-related injuries relative to youth in a comparison community.
Clark Hill Institute for Positive Youth Development:External
The Clark-Hill Institute for Positive Youth Development reduced youth violence and promoted the healthy development of youth in Richmond, VA through successful community collaborations. By coordinating and implementing a comprehensive set of school-based and family-focused programs, they demonstrated that, relative to areas of the community not receiving the intervention, areas receiving the intervention had a 13% lower risk of youth violence.
North Carolina Youth Violence Prevention Center (NC-YVPC):External
NC-YVPC showed reductions in youth violence and associated behaviors in Robeson County, NC by using three prevention strategies that focused on promoting self-esteem, behaviors such as helping, sharing, donating and volunteering, improving parenting skills/parent-child communication and improving the outcomes of youth in the juvenile court system. Robeson County experienced a 47% reduction in illegal behavior that took place outside of school, an 18% reduction in aggravated assaults committed by youth, and a 10% reduction in illegal behaviors that took place on school grounds.
The YVPCs research effective violence prevention approaches to promote thriving youth and build safer communities.