A Comprehensive Prevention Approach to Reducing Assault Offenses and Assault Injuries among Youth

Heinze, J. E., Reischl, T. M., Bai, M., Roche, J. S., Morrel-Samuels, S., Cunningham, R. M., & Zimmerman, M. A. (2016). A comprehensive prevention approach to reducing assault offenses and assault injuries among youthPrevention science17(2), 167-176.


Since 2011, the CDC-funded Michigan Youth Violence Prevention Center (MI-YVPC), working with community partners, has implemented a comprehensive prevention approach to reducing youth violence in Flint, MI, based on public health principles. MI-YVPC employed an intervention strategy that capitalizes on existing community resources and application of evidence-based programs using a social-ecological approach to change. We evaluated the combined effect of six programs in reducing assaults and injury among 10-24 year olds in the intervention area relative to a matched comparison community. We used generalized linear mixed models to examine change in the intervention area counts of reported assault offenses and assault injury presentation relative to the comparison area over a period 6 years prior- and 30 months post-intervention. Results indicated that youth victimization and assault injuries fell in the intervention area subsequent to the initiation of the interventions and that these reductions were sustained over time. Our evaluation demonstrated that a comprehensive multi-level approach can be effective for reducing youth violence and injury.

Keywords: Adolescence; Community empowerment; Injury prevention; Violence prevention.