An interdisciplinary panel of 13 experts met at the National Institutes of
Health (NIH) last month to decide what type of programs prevent youth violence
or other risk-taking behaviors, according to an NIH draft conference
The panel found that group detention centers, boot camps, and other"
get tough" programs often "do nothing more than provide an
opportunity for delinquent youth to negatively influence each other.
Similarly, state laws that facilitate the transfer of juveniles to the adult
judicial system are often counterproductive, resulting in greater violence
among incarcerated youth."
The panel found that in randomized controlled trials, several programs were
effective in reducing arrests and out-of-home placements. Common
characteristics of the successful programs were a focus on developing social
competency skills, a long-term approach, and family involvement.
The panel made several recommendations including the creation of a national
population-based violence registry and greater emphasis on economic research
into the cost-effectiveness of intervention to prevent violence, the panel's
A summary of the report, "Evidence Report on Preventing
Violence and Related Health-Risking Social Behaviors in Adolescents," is
posted online at<www.ahrq.gov/clinic/epcsums/adolvisum.htm>.
The "NIH Conference Statement on Preventing Violence and Related
Health-Risking Social Behaviors in Adolescents" is posted online at at<http://consensus.nih.gov/ta/023/youthviolenceDRAFTstatement101504.pdf>.▪