Preventing youth violence: what works?

Annu Rev Public Health. 1998;19:271-92. doi: 10.1146/annurev.publhealth.19.1.271.


Between 1985 and 1992, serious youth violence in the United States surged to unprecedented levels. The growing use of firearms to settle disputes has contributed to this phenomenon. Youth are most often victimized by one of their peers. In response to this problem, a wide variety of programs have been implemented in an attempt to prevent youth violence or reduce its severity. Few have been adequately evaluated. In general, interventions applied between the prenatal period and age 6 appear to be more effective than interventions initiated in later childhood or adolescence. Community-based programs that target certain high-risk behaviors may be beneficial as well. A sustained commitment to evaluation research is needed to identify the most effective approaches to youth violence prevention.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior*
  • Firearms*
  • Humans
  • United States
  • Violence / prevention & control*