An emergency department-based program to change attitudes of youth toward violence

J Emerg Med. 2004 Feb;26(2):247-51. doi: 10.1016/j.jemermed.2003.06.008.


Interpersonal violence continues to be a problem in the United States with a recurrence rate for repeat violence of 6 to 44%, with a 5-year mortality of 20%. This study describes the attitudinal changes of youth enrolled in a program to reduce violence risk. Patients aged 10 to 24 years at a community, teaching Level 1 trauma center who were victims of interpersonal violence (excluding child abuse, sexual assault, and domestic violence) were randomly enrolled in the study. The control group was simply provided a list of available services, whereas the treatment group received an assessment and case management for 6 months. The study examined the change in attitude and behavior of the youths in the treatment and control groups over time, using a combination of chi-square and ANCOVA. A total of 188 victims, 96 subjects in the treatment group and the 92 in the control group, had an average age of 18.6 years and were mostly (82.5%) males. A majority were African-Americans (65.4%), followed by Hispanic (31.4%). There was no significant difference found in mother involvement, father involvement, mother support, father support, peer support or peer delinquency. There was a decrease in support from both parents over time, which was not affected by the program. There was a decrease in peer delinquency for both the treatment group (67 to.41) and the control group (63 to.50). The results of this study demonstrate a lack of attitudinal changes. This may be attributed to limitations of study design and an inherent difficulty in dealing with high-risk inner city youth.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior*
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Emergency Medical Services / methods*
  • Emergency Medical Services / organization & administration
  • Ethnicity
  • Female
  • Health Education / methods*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Illinois
  • Male
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Parent-Child Relations
  • Referral and Consultation / organization & administration
  • Social Work / organization & administration
  • Violence / prevention & control*
  • Wounds and Injuries / therapy