The Effects of Two Community-Based Participatory Action Research Programs on Violence Outside of and in School Among Adolescents and Young Adults in a Latino Community



      Violence is the leading cause of death among adolescents and young adults in the Americas. Community-Based Participatory Action Research engaged youth and parents to develop and implement two interventions. A Violence Prevention Program (VPP) focused on risk factors for violence, and a Positive Youth Development Program (PYDP) focused on protective factors. Program effects on violence outside of and in school were assessed at 6 and 12 months.


      Both interventions included an 8-week internet-based program and an in-person youth summit. Participants were prospectively randomized twice, first to the VPP and a no-VPP control group and again to the PYDP and a no-PYDP control group. Participants self-reported violence outside of and in school through self-administered baseline surveys with repeat assessments at 6 and 12 months. Analysis of covariance models examined VPP and PYDP effects on violence.


      The analysis sample was 86% Latino, 56% female, 36% aged 10–13 years, 45% aged 14–18, and 19% aged 19–23 years. Analysis of covariance models of violence outside of school demonstrated small program interaction effects at 6 months (partial eta2 = .030; p = .007) and small VPP effects at 12 months (partial eta2 = .023; p = .025). Models of violence in school demonstrated small PYDP effects at 6 months (partial eta2 = .023; p = .018).


      Community-Based Participatory Action Research engaging adolescents, young adults, and parents to address locally relevant health issues can have multiple benefits. In this study, a VPP had positive effects on violence outside of school at 12 months, and a PYDP had positive effects on violence in school at 6 months.


      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'


      Subscribe to Journal of Adolescent Health
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect


        • Patton G.C.
        • Coffey C.
        • Sawyer S.M.
        • et al.
        Global patterns of mortality in young people: A systematic analysis of population health data.
        Lancet. 2009; 374: 881-892
        • Oscós-Sánchez
        Youth violence and mental health: Repeating exposures.
        Int J Hum Rights Healthc. 2017; 10: 174-186
        • Sigel E.J.
        • Culyba A.
        • Westers N.J.
        • et al.
        Preventing firearm violence in youth through evidence-informed strategies. A position paper of the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine.
        J Adolesc Health. 2020; 66: 260-264
        • Pan American Health Organization
        Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization. Salud en las Americas.
        (Available at:)
        • Weaver K.
        • Maddaleno M.
        Youth violence in Latin America: Current situation and violence prevention strategies.
        Rev Panam Salud Publica. 1999; 5: 338-343
        • Bell T.M.
        • Qiao N.
        • Jenkins P.C.
        • et al.
        Trends in emergency department visits for nonfatal violence-related injuries among adolescents in the United States, 2009-2013.
        J Adolesc Health. 2016; 58: 573-575
        • Foshee V.A.
        • Gottfredson N.C.
        • Reyes L.M.
        • et al.
        Developmental outcomes of using physical violence against dates and peers.
        J Adolesc Health. 2016; 58: 665-671
        • Blum R.W.
        • Li M.
        • Naranjo-Rivera G.
        Measuring adverse child experiences among young adolescents globally: Relationships with depressive symptoms and violence perpetration.
        J Adolesc Health. 2019; 66: 86-93
        • Cunningham R.M.
        • Walton M.A.
        • Carter P.M.
        The major causes of death in children and adolescents in the United States. Special report.
        N Engl J Med. 2018; 379: 2468-2475
      1. Youth violence: A report of the surgeon general. Executive summary.
        Am J Heath Educ. 2001; 32: 169-174
        • Matjasko J.L.
        • Vivolo-Kantor A.M.
        • Massetti G.M.
        • et al.
        A systematic meta-review of evaluations of youth violence prevention programs: Common and divergent findings from 25 years of meta-analyses and systematic reviews.
        Aggress Violent Behav. 2012; 17: 540-552
        • Fagan A.A.
        • Catalano R.F.
        What works in youth violence prevention: A review of the literature.
        Res Soc Work Pract. 2013; 23: 141-156
        • Taliaferro L.A.
        • Doty J.L.
        • Gower A.L.
        • Rovito M.J.
        Violence and bullying among adolescent males: Profiles of risk and protective factors.
        J Adolesc Health. 2019; 64: 38-39
        • Elgar F.J.
        • McKinnon B.
        • Walsh S.D.
        • et al.
        Structural determinants of youth bullying and fighting in 79 countries.
        J Adolesc Health. 2015; 57: 643-650
        • Dong B.
        • Branas C.C.
        • Richmond T.S.
        • et al.
        Youth’s daily activities and situational triggers of gunshot assault in urban environments.
        J Adolesc Health. 2017; 61: 779-785
        • Giovanelli A.
        • Hayakawa M.
        • Englund M.M.
        • Reynolds A.J.
        African-American males in Chicago: Pathways from early childhood intervention to reduced violence.
        J Adolesc Health. 2018; 62: 80-86
        • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
        The social-ecological model is frequently used as a broad conceptual framework.
        (Available at:)
        • Farrell A.D.
        • Henry D.
        • Bradshaw C.
        • Reischi T.
        Designs for evaluating the community-level impact of comprehensive prevention programs: Examples from the CDC Centers of Excellence in Youth Violence Prevention.
        J Prim Prev. 2016; 37: 165-188
        • Howard K.A.
        • Flora J.
        • Griffin M.
        Violence-prevention programs in schools: State of the science and implications for future research.
        Appl Prev Psychol. 1999; 8: 197-215
        • Litt I.R.
        Research with, not on, adolescents: Community-based participatory research. [editorial].
        J Adolesc Health. 2003; 33: 315-316
        • Santelli J.S.
        • Rogers A.S.
        • Rosenfeld W.D.
        • et al.
        Guidelines for adolescent health research. A position paper of the Society for Adolescent Medicine.
        J Adolesc Health. 2003; 33: 396-409
        • Leff S.S.
        • Thomas D.E.
        • Vaughn N.A.
        • et al.
        Using community-based participatory research to develop the PARTNERS youth violence prevention program.
        Prog Community Health Partnersh. 2010; 4: 207-216
        • Kelly P.J.
        • Lesser J.
        • Cheng A.L.
        • et al.
        A prospective randomized controlled trial of an interpersonal violence prevention program with a Mexican-American community.
        Fam Community Health. 2010; 33: 207-215
        • Anderson N.L.
        • Lesser J.
        • Oscós-Sánchez M.A.
        • et al.
        Approaches to community nursing research partnerships: A case example.
        J Transcult Nurs. 2014; 25: 129-136
        • Betancourt T.S.
        • Berent J.M.
        • Freeman J.
        • et al.
        Family-based mental health promotion for Somali Bantu and Bhutanese refugees: Feasibility and acceptability trial.
        J Adolesc Health. 2020; 66: 336-344
        • Flicker S.
        • Guta A.
        Ethical approaches to adolescent participation in sexual health research.
        J Adolesc Health. 2008; 42: 3-10
        • Cooper W.O.
        • Lutenbacher M.
        • Faccia K.
        Components of effective youth violence prevention programs for 7- to 14-year-olds.
        Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2000; 154: 1134-1139
        • Manlove J.
        • Cook E.
        • Whitfield B.
        • et al.
        Short-term impacts of PULSE: An app-based teen pregnancy prevention program for Black and Latinx women.
        J Adolesc Health. 2020; 66: 224-232
        • Walton M.A.
        • Cunningham R.M.
        • Xue Y.
        • et al.
        Internet referrals for adolescent violence prevention: An innovative mechanism for inner-city emergency departments.
        J Adolesc Health. 2008; 43: 309-312
        • Chen J.
        • Weiss S.
        • Heyman M.B.
        • et al.
        The efficacy of the web-based childhood obesity prevention program in Chinese American adolescents (Web ABC study).
        J Adolesc Health. 2011; 49: 148-154
        • Marks J.T.
        • Campbell M.K.
        • Ward D.S.
        • et al.
        A comparison of web and print media for physical activity promotion among adolescent girls.
        J Adolesc Health. 2006; 39: 96-104
        • Schwinn T.M.
        • Thom B.
        • Schinke S.P.
        • Hopkins J.
        Preventing drug use among sexual-minority youths: Findings from a tailored, web-based intervention.
        J Adolesc Health. 2015; 56: 571-573
        • Patten C.A.
        • Rock E.
        • Meis T.M.
        • et al.
        Frequency and type of use of a home-based, internet intervention for adolescent smoking cessation.
        J Adolesc Health. 2007; 41: 437-443
        • Joseph C.L.M.
        • Ownby D.R.
        • Havstad S.L.
        • et al.
        Evaluation of a web-based asthma management intervention program for urban teenagers: Reaching the hard to reach.
        J Adolesc Health. 2013; 52: 419-426
        • Oscós-Sánchez M.Á.
        • Lesser J.
        • Oscós-Flores L.D.
        High school students in a health career promotion program report fewer acts of aggression and violence.
        J Adolesc Health. 2013; 52: 96-101
        Waltham, MA: Institute for Child, Youth and Family policy, Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University.
        (Available at:)
        Date: 2019
        Date accessed: August 30, 2020
        • U.S. Census Bureau
        Geocoder. U.S. Department of Commerce.
        ([Online] Available at:)
        • Orpinas P.
        • Frankowski R.
        The aggression scale: A self-report measure of aggressive behavior for young adolescents.
        J Early Adolesc. 2001; 21: 50-67
        • Dahlberg L.L.
        • Toal S.B.
        • Swahn M.
        • Behrens C.B.
        Measuring violence-related attitudes, beliefs and behaviors among youths: A compendium of assessment tools.
        2nd ed. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Atlanta GA2005
        • Radloff L.S.
        The CES-D scale: A self-report depression scale for research in the general population.
        Appl Psychol Meas. 1977; 1: 385-401

      Linked Article

      • Why We Need Primary Youth Violence Prevention Through Community-Based Participatory Research
        Journal of Adolescent HealthVol. 68Issue 2
        • Preview
          Each year, over 500,000 youth seek care in U.S. emergency departments for assault-related injuries [1]. Middle school-age males in urban environments both witness and directly experience violence at an elevated rate in comparison to their peers, with one national survey showing that 19% had witnessed a shooting or stabbing, and 13% had a weapon pulled on them in the past year [2,3]. Alongside this burden of violence, significant disparities exist in the U.S., with African American and Latino communities experiencing rates of violence and injury far above non-Latino, White peers [1].
        • Full-Text
        • PDF