In a community randomized controlled trial, intervention middle school students from small towns were exposed to a community and school-based anti-violence intervention (“Resolve It, Solve It”). The primary intervention was a media campaign in which local high school students served as models in print, radio, and television PSAs and spearheaded local school and community activities. The media campaign was supported with school and community events that reinforced campaign messages. Tests of recognition and recall indicated widespread exposure to the media intervention. Multiple group latent growth models indicated that relative to control students, intervention students reported significant differences in rates of growth for intent for violence, physical assault against people, verbal victimization, and perceived safety at school. No differences were found for verbal assault, physical assault against objects, physical victimization, or self-efficacy for avoiding violence. When examined by sex, it was determined that results for physical assault against people were obtained only among female students, and changes in verbal victimization and perceived school safety were observed only among male students. These results suggest that a media and reinforcing community intervention led by older peers can alter rates of growth for some measures of violence and associated factors among small-town youth. Further research is indicated to determine how different campaign messages influence students by sex.
Prevention Science – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 8, 2008
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