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Implications of Direct Protective Factors for Public Health Research and Prevention Strategies to Reduce Youth Violence

NCJ Number
American Journal of Preventive Medicine Volume: 43 Issue: 2, Supplement 1 Dated: August 2012 Pages: S76-S83
Jeffrey E. Hall, Ph.D.; Thomas R. Simon, Ph.D.; Rosalyn D. Lee, Ph.D.; James A. Mercy, Ph.D.
Date Published
August 2012
8 pages
This paper discusses the implications of the effect of direct protective factors against youth violence on future research and the development of prevention strategies and programs aimed at reducing youth violence.
Previous research has found that a combination of direct protective factors can have a significant impact on the subsequent levels of violence in youth. This paper discusses the implications that the effect of these factors has on future research and the development of prevention strategies and programs aimed at reducing these levels of violence. This paper identifies and discusses three implications for research resulting from these previous findings: 1) the risk and buffering protective factors framework can be extended by defining new predictors and by defining different ways that predictors may operate; 2) characteristics of study contexts and focal populations should be considered as "moderators whose effects can only be controlled in limited ways and whose true consequences for etiologic research should be modeled or at least considered;" and 3) the findings suggest "a potential source of variation in the effectiveness of programs across settings and populations that may not be widely considered." These findings also have implications for the development of violence prevention programs and strategies. These implications include ensuring that limited resources are used appropriately depending on whether the influential variables are assumed to operate linearly or nonlinearly. Incorporating incorrect assumptions regarding the operation of the variables can lead to a decrease in program effectiveness and inappropriate use of limited resources. Implications for future research are discussed. Tables and references