Understanding violence: a school initiative for violence prevention

J Prev Interv Community. 2009;37(4):275-88. doi: 10.1080/10852350903196282.


The present study evaluates Understanding Violence, a violence prevention initiative implemented in a Boston-area elementary school whose students experience high rates of community violence. Understanding Violence draws on the educational and personal skills of youths and allows them to practice positive alternatives to violence. Participating 5th graders (n = 123) completed a survey that included rating scale items and open-ended questions to assess the program. Results indicate high levels of satisfaction with and learning from the program. Participants responded positively to the program's use of diverse components and community engagement. Developed as part of a larger community mental health outreach program, Understanding Violence offers an example of a school-based initiative to mitigate the effects of community violence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Black or African American
  • Boston
  • Child
  • Community Participation / methods
  • Community-Institutional Relations
  • Consumer Behavior
  • Cultural Competency
  • Curriculum
  • Female
  • Hispanic or Latino
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Health Services / organization & administration
  • Program Evaluation
  • Schools / organization & administration*
  • Violence / ethnology*
  • Violence / prevention & control*