Nine Critical Elements of Promising Violence Prevention Programs

Linda Dusenbury, Mathea Falco, Antonia Lake, Rosalind Brannigan, Laura K Bosworth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

64 Scopus citations


To identify approaches to school-based violence prevention that are most promising and those that may not be effective, a review of the literature was conducted. In addition, telephone interviews were conducted with 15 experts on topics related to school-based violence prevention. Nine critical ingredients of promising approaches to violence prevention were identified. Specifically, the approaches are comprehensive and multifaceted; begin in the primary grades and are reinforced across grade level; are developmentally tailored; and cover appropriate content area. Appropriate content areas include information; anger management; social perspective taking; decision making and social problem solving; peer negotiation and conflict management; social resistance skills; active listening and effective communication; and material on prejudice, sexism, racism and male-female relationship. In addition, promising programs use interactive teaching techniques, are culturally sensitive, and provide teacher training. They promote a positive school climate and foster norms against violence. Six violence prevention activities that appear not to be effective are also discussed. The authors conclude with a discussion of the need for more rigorous evaluation of violence prevention programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)409-414
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of School Health
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1997
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Nursing(all)
  • Education

Cite this

Dusenbury, L., Falco, M., Lake, A., Brannigan, R., & Bosworth, L. K. (1997). Nine Critical Elements of Promising Violence Prevention Programs. Journal of School Health, 67(10), 409-414.