Preventing Violence in At-Risk African-American Youth


Homicide and nonfatal injuries resulting from interpersonal violence are significant contributors to the excess early mortality and morbidity of African-American youth. Although there is growing recognition of the need for prevention programs specifically directed to these youth, culturally relevant programs to reduce aggression and victimization in high-risk racial and ethnic groups are virtually nonexistent. This article reports preliminary findings of a program to train African-American adolescents in social skills, an approach which shows promise as a means of preventing violence. The pilot study suggests a need for continued research on this and other prevention approaches to reduce the disproportionate-and preventable-risk of injury or death for this vulnerable population.