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Prevention Science

, 9:231 | Cite as

The Multisite Violence Prevention Project: Impact of a Universal School-Based Violence Prevention Program on Social-Cognitive Outcomes

  • The Multisite Violence Prevention Project
Article

Abstract

This study evaluated the impact of a universal school-based violence prevention program on social-cognitive factors associated with aggression and nonviolent behavior in early adolescence. The effects of the universal intervention were evaluated within the context of a design in which two cohorts of students at 37 schools from four sites (N = 5,581) were randomized to four conditions: (a) a universal intervention that involved implementing a student curriculum and teacher training with sixth grade students and teachers; (b) a selective intervention in which a family intervention was implemented with a subset of sixth grade students exhibiting high levels of aggression and social influence; (c) a combined intervention condition; and (d) a no-intervention control condition. Short-term and long-term (i.e., 2-year post-intervention) universal intervention effects on social-cognitive factors targeted by the intervention varied as a function of students’ pre-intervention level of risk. High-risk students benefited from the intervention in terms of decreases in beliefs and attitudes supporting aggression, and increases in self-efficacy, beliefs and attitudes supporting nonviolent behavior. Effects on low-risk students were in the opposite direction. The differential pattern of intervention effects for low- and high-risk students may account for the absence of main effects in many previous evaluations of universal interventions for middle school youth. These findings have important research and policy implications for efforts to develop effective violence prevention programs.

Keywords

Aggression Violence prevention Middle school Adolescent problem behavior Social-cognitive 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This study was funded by the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC Cooperative Agreements U81/CCU417759 (Duke University), U81/CCU517816 (University of Chicago, Illinois), U81/CCU417778 (The University of Georgia), and U81/CCU317633 (Virginia Commonwealth University). The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Copyright information

© Society for Prevention Research 2008

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  • The Multisite Violence Prevention Project

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