Objective: To compare the effectiveness of the Violence Prevention Curriculum for Adolescents to the Conflict Resolution: A Curriculum for Youth Providers among middle school students. Methods: A sample (N = 225) of adolescents (males = 48%) representing 20% of the student population in two middle schools were administered a pretest questionnaire. Of these students, 89% were African-American, 10% were white, and 1% were Native-American and lived in public housing (40%) or in neighborhoods adjacent to public housing (60%). Each school was randomly assigned to one of the curricula. Each curriculum was administered during 10 50-min sessions held twice a week over 5 weeks. One week later, 209 students who completed the 10 sessions were tested with the same questionnaire. The data were analyzed with a repeated- measures analysis of variance. Results: Students who received either curriculum reported significant decreases in their self-reported use of violence in hypothetical conflict situations, frequency of use of violence in the previous 30 days, and frequency of physical fights in the previous 30 days. The conflict resolution curriculum was more effective in reducing the frequency of fights resulting in an injury requiring medical treatment in the previous 30 days. Conclusions: Both curricula were successful in reducing three indicators of violence. However, the conflict resolution approach was more successful in reducing the frequency of more severe physical fights requiring medical treatment. The latter finding is of particular importance, because that physical fighting is the form of violence behavior in which young adolescents most often engage.
- Social cognitive theory
- Violence prevention
- Weapon carrying
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Psychiatry and Mental health