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J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2011 Oct;20(10):1415-28. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2011.3057. Epub 2011 Aug 29.

Preventing youth violence perpetration among girls.

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  • 1National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.


In the last 10 years, several reviews of research on violence among girls have been conducted. This research helps to determine the extent of girls' use of violence however, it has not been translated into effective prevention programs for girls. This article reviews the research on risk and protective factors associated with violence, with particular attention on factors unique to girls or shared between boys and girls. Individual risk factors for youth violence include hyperactivity/inattention/impulsivity, risk taking/sensation seeking, low academic achievement, exposure to stress and victimization, and early puberty. Parent-child relationships/parental monitoring and supervision, parent criminal and antisocial behavior, and family conflicts and instability have been found to be relationship-level risk factors. Peer risk factors include deviant peer affiliation and gang membership. Risk factors at the community level include economic deprivation; community disorganization; the availability of drugs, alcohol, and firearms; and neighborhood crime. This review also includes a description of program effects for girls within the Model and Promising Blueprints for Violence Prevention Initiative programs. Very few evaluations have examined program effectiveness in preventing violence among girls. More evaluation research is needed to determine if evidence-based programs have positive impact on reducing violence and related risk factors among girls.

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