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C.D.C. Funds Project Evaluations

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The National Center for Injury Prevention and Control at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is funding evaluations of several youth-violence intervention projects. The evaluations received initial funding in September 1993 and will run for two to three years. The projects, locations, target groups, and descriptions are listed below.

Peace Builders, Tucson, Ariz.; targets K-5 students in Tucson elementary schools.

Throughout school year, counselors or other specially trained instructors--using methods such as modeling, role playing, self-monitoring, and generalization strategies--teach students to interact socially in a positive way. Main messages are to praise others, avoid insults, seek advice, and speak up about hurt feelings.

Resolving Conflict Creatively, New York City; targets K-12 students in city's public schools.

Comprehensive program in conflict resolution and intercultural understanding involving teachers and young people in schools throughout the city. Includes training for teachers; classroom intervention based on K-12 curricula; classroom visits by expert consultants to help teachers implement the curriculum; peer mediation; parent and administrator training; and a pilot program for children who exhibit behavior strongly correlated with later delinquent behavior.

Cognitive/Ecological Approach to Preventing Violence, Chicago and Aurora, Ill.; targets African-American and Hispanic urban youths, grades 2-6 (ages 7 to 13), who are at risk for violence.

Three levels of intervention aimed at preventing aggressive and violent interpersonal behavior. Each intervention is a two-year program. Most are provided in the 2nd and 3rd grades and again in the 5th and 6th grades. Includes classroom-based training in motivation, self-understanding, sense of control, and other similar cognitive factors. Interventions may also include small-group work for high-risk children and family sessions.

Attributional Bias and Reactive Aggression, Los Angeles; targets African-American and Latino males in grades 4-6.

Program evaluates training designed to decrease reactive physical and verbal aggression directed toward peers. Provides specific activities for understanding the intentions of others and recognizing ambiguity in personal interactions; practice in identifying what others mean by their words or what they intend to do; and practice in making more accurate assessments of the intentions of others and generating rules about how to respond to uncertain situations. Uses role playing, discussion of personal experiences, and training to interpret and categorize the behavioral cues expressed by others in social situations.

Richmond Youth Violence Prevention Program, Richmond, Va.; targets 6th-grade students.

Three-year school-based project including 18-session curriculum and a peer-mediation program that uses a problem-solving approach to reinforce skills learned in the curriculum.

Conflict Resolution Computer Module, Indianapolis; targets students in grades 6-8.

Computer-based instructional program designed to teach social skills and conflict resolution. Computer program also helps students negotiate a current conflict that has the potential to escalate to violence and to deal nonviolently with anger and develop the social skills to manage conflict.

System of Values, Portland, Ore.; targets students in grades 7-9 from low-income, high-crime neighborhoods.

Uses adult mentors and programs that include training in conflict resolution and social skills, peer education in violence prevention, recreational opportunities, and tutoring. Training to draw extensively upon African-American cultural foundations and experiences.

Students for Peace, Houston; targets students in grades 6-8.

Aims to reduce aggressive behaviors by fostering violence-prevention skills, changing social norms about violence, and modifying the school and home environments by altering school policies and providing parent education. Primary components are school health-promotion council; curriculum that provides knowledge and skills; peer-mediation and peer-leadership training; and parent involvement.

Working Toward Peace, Detroit; targets 7th-grade students.

Project will evaluate the effectiveness of two school-based primary-prevention programs. The first is a curriculum that includes such skills as self-discipline, communication, critical thinking, and drug-abuse prevention. The second builds upon and expands skills in the first program.

Reducing Dating Violence, Johnston County, N.C.; targets students in grades 8 and 9.

Students receive classroom instruction about gender stereotypes, conflict-management skills, and social norms that contribute to dating violence. Will be supplemented by student-conducted dramatic performances. Parents, police workers, and others in community will be trained to be better resources for youths who seek assistance about teenage-dating violence.

Mentoring and Rites of Passage, Chicago; targets youths ages 8 to 18 at the Robert Taylor Homes, a public-housing development.

Includes adult mentors and the Rites of Passage program, a series of activities designed to assist adolescents in their transition to adulthood. Mentors will help develop a curriculum that focuses on self-concept, sexual identity and awareness, improved communication and decisionmaking skills, and an appreciation of cultural heritage.

Victim Counseling, Boston; victims of violence, ages 12 to 17.

Adolescents admitted to Boston City Hospital for violence-related injuries will participate in intervention program that: reviews and assesses the incident, reviews patient's conflict-resolution strategies and introduces nonviolent alternatives, provides patient with information about prevalence of violence and homicide, identifies patient's coping skills and support systems, develops a plan for patient to stay safe after discharge, and refers patient to follow-up services.

The following are community demonstration projects that began in 1993 and are scheduled to continue until 1997. They are designed to test the effectiveness of the interaction of multiple community forces in a violence-prevention program.

Guidance and Employment, Durham, N.C.; targets African-American males, ages 13 to 16.

Includes Rites of Passage program, mentoring program, entrepreneurial program, and job-training and placement program.

Peer Group Training and Community Empowerment, Houston; targets African-American and Hispanic middle school students.

Interventions include training peer leaders in group support, social skills, leadership, and violence prevention; training in parenting skills for the parents of the youths in the peer-leader groups; and training neighborhood violence-prevention advocates.

Education, Counseling, and Community Awareness, New York City; targets middle school students.

Multifaceted intervention approach that targets adolescents, their families, and the community in Brooklyn. It includes such programs as conflict resolution and counseling for middle school students; community-based efforts involving students and their families; and a communitywide public-health information and antiviolence-awareness campaign.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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