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Adolesc Med State Art Rev. 2011 Dec;22(3):581-600, xiii.

Youth empowerment solutions for violence prevention.

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  • 1Prevention Research Center of Michigan, University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA. reischl@umich.edu

Abstract

The limited success of youth violence prevention interventions suggests that effective prevention needs to address causes at multiple levels of analysis and empower youth in developing and implementing prevention programs. In this article, we review published studies of youth violence prevention efforts that engage youth in developing or implementing violence prevention activities. The reviewed studies suggest the promise of youth empowerment strategies and the need for systematic outcome studies of empowerment programs. After reviewing empowerment theory applied to youth violence prevention programs, we present a case study of the Youth Empowerment Solutions (YES) for Peaceful Communities program. YES engages middle-school youth in an after-school and summer program that includes a culturally tailored character development curriculum and empowers the youth to plan and implement community improvement projects with assistance from adult neighborhood advocates. The case study focuses on outcome evaluation results and presents evidence of the YES program effects on community-level outcomes (eg, property improvements, violent crime incidents) and on individual-level outcomes (eg, conflict avoidance, victimization). The literature review and the case study suggest the promise of engaging and empowering youth to plan and implement youth violence prevention programs.

PMID:
22423465
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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