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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

      Abstract

      Purpose

      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.

      Methods

      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.

      Results

      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).

      Conclusions

      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.

      Keywords

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      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].
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