BACKGROUND Historically, youth violence prevention strategies used deterrence-based programming with limited success. We developed a youth violence prevention program, Dusk to Dawn (D2D), intended to improve youths' recognition of high-risk situations and teach new skills in conflict resolution. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of D2D on youths' perceptions of personal risk factors and high-risk situations. METHODS Youth ages 12 years to 18 years were referred to D2D by community-based organizations, probation, or youth detention center. The youth completed a self-report survey before and after participating in D2D. RESULTS One hundred eight youth participated in D2D. Pretest and posttest results for self-reported personal risk factors and high-risk situations for violence are presented. For personal risk factors, a statistically significant increase in the perception that family (p < 0.01) and other issues (p < 0.05), and a decrease in the perception that school problems (<0.05) were seen as important personal risk factors. For high-risk situations, increases in the perception that peer violence and substance use as high-risk situations were seen as significant at the trend level (p < 0.10). Of the 60% of participants who answered questions regarding satisfaction with D2D, 83.3% agreed or strongly agreed that D2D helped them to better understand violence and 83.3% would recommend D2D to others. CONCLUSION Youth violence prevention programming including an explicit discussion of how violence is learned and the role of family, friends, school, and a community in shaping youths' attitudes toward violence can effectively raise awareness of one's own risk factors. Risk factors for youth violence are often preventable or modifiable, making awareness of one's own risk factors a realistic target for youth violence prevention programs. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE Therapeutic/Care Management, Level III.
- risk factors
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine