Adolescent Violence Prevention: A Community and School Approach

Stephen A. Rollin, Florida State University
Cheryl Kaiser-Ulrey, Florida State University
Isabelle Potts, Florida State University
Alia Haque, Florida State University

ABSTRACT
Juvenile aggression, delinquency, violence, and crime have been identified by principals in a national survey as key problems in public schools. Many school systems, however, either have no violence prevention program currently operating or have programs that have been targeted for a particular incidence of violence that occurred within the school. Research has shown that attempts to stem violence in schools have been uneven at best. . A consortium of seven universities formed the Hamilton Fish National Institute on School and Community Violence. Florida State University (FSU), one of the consortium partners, was charged along with the others to develop a unique violence prevention program that targets at-risk eighth and ninth graders in urban Florida schools. Only eighth graders were participating at the time of this evaluation. The prevention program developed by FSU was based upon a model constructed at the Adams Middle School in Tampa, Florida wherein middle schoolers were paired with community-based intervention from an adult mentor. The current program is administered through these middle schools under the coordination of a half-time teacher, who serves as the program coordinator and mentor on-site at the school. The participant schools in this evaluation are located in Tampa, Jacksonville, and Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Results of this preliminary study demonstrate that the target population is benefiting from this intervention. Participants demonstrated significant positive changes in total number anfd days of suspensions, total days of sanction, and unexcused absences. This promising program is entering a period of information dissemination where final results will be explored.

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Updated 05/20/2006