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Contextual Effects in School-Based Violence Prevention Programs: A Conceptual Framework and Empirical Review

This paper reviews the theoretical and practical importance of studying contextual factors in school-based violence prevention programs and provides a framework for evaluating factors at the classroom, school, and community/district level. Sixty-two published papers describing 38 different programs were reviewed; of these 16 were identified that reported data on contextual effects or discussed possible contextual effects on the intervention. The small number of studies precludes definitive conclusions regarding contextual effects in school-based violence prevention programs, but suggests (a) some evidence for contextual effects on program outcomes, and (b) interdependence of context and implementation factors in influencing outcomes.

Editors’ Strategic Implications: This review suggests that contextual effects are important to school violence prevention, as context can influence outcomes directly and through interactions with implementation factors. Consequently, characteristics of the classroom, school, and community contexts should be considered by practitioners when implementing prevention programs and measured by researchers studying the processes and outcomes of these programs.

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Fig. 1.

Notes

  1. 1.

    A list of all papers reviewed is available by contacting the author.

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

The author thanks Dr. Lauren Barton for her helpful comments on an earlier draft of the manuscript and Dr. Thomas Cook for his comments regarding principles for the improvement of multi-level interventions.

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Correspondence to Emily J. Ozer.

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Ozer, E.J. Contextual Effects in School-Based Violence Prevention Programs: A Conceptual Framework and Empirical Review. J Primary Prevent 27, 315–340 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10935-006-0036-x

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KEY WORDS:

  • context
  • violence prevention
  • youth
  • implementation
  • school