The Effectiveness of Universal School-Based Programs for the Prevention of Violent and Aggressive Behavior

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The Task Force on Community Preventive Services

For two years beginning in 2004, the task force conducted reviews of 53 published scientific studies into the effectiveness of school-based violence prevention programs for youth. The task force discovered that:

• All school anti-violence program strategies (e.g., informational, cognitive/affective, and social skills building) were associated with a reduction in violent behavior.

• All program foci (e.g., disruptive or anti-social behavior, bullying, or dating violence) were associated with reduced violent behavior.

• A reduction in violent behavior was reported in programs administered by all personnel, including students and peers, except for those administered by school administrators or counselors.

According to the task force, the results provide strong evidence that universal school-based programs can decrease rates of violence and aggressive behavior in diverse settings by up to 15 percent. The task force is supported by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in collaboration with public and private partners. Free online. (404) 498-0958,