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Changing the Context: Youth Violence Prevention Through Community Change
Monday, November 17, 2014: 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Homicide is the second leading cause of death for youth and young adults in this country and exposure to violence has lifelong consequences even for those not directly involved in the violence itself. While we have seen modest reductions on youth violence in this country over the past several decades, the rate of improvement has more recently slowed and those most vulnerable, youth of color, have been least impacted. The focus of attention in addressing this problem has been primarily on those already involved in violence, draining the resources of the criminal justice, health care and social services systems. In prevention, much of the work to date has been focused on individual, family, and school-based strategies addressing risk and protective factors.
More recently there has been growing interest in and evidence supporting population level violence prevention strategies that change the environment that young people are growing up and living in. Such strategies include changes in the built environment, development of green space, efforts that address the social norms that make violence an acceptable way of dealing with conflict, policies at the community level that influence risk and resiliency, and improvement in the way community agencies and services work together in addressing and providing services to youth. Such strategies not only reduce violence but create a setting for healthy behavior and development for young people growing up in our inner cities.
This session will provide a view of the current successes and efforts in this area as well as a view of the future direction of this work. It will involve a set of brief presentations followed by a directed discussion on the work and vision of this burgeoning field. Specific examples from New Orleans, a number of communities in California, and Philadelphia will be used to illustrate the work in this area.
Session Objectives: Describe the elements of community change (built environment, social norms, green space development, community level policies) that are effective in addressing and reducing youth violence.
List examples of community change strategies that have a base of evidence supporting their effectiveness.
Describe several specific initiatives in communities currently being implemented around the country.
See individual abstracts for presenting author's disclosure statement and author's information.
Organized by: APHA-Special Sessions
Endorsed by: Injury Control and Emergency Health Services, Public Health Nursing, Public Health Social Work, Black Caucus of Health Workers
Medical (CME), Health Education (CHES), Nursing (CNE), Public Health (CPH)
Masters Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES)