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Thursday, September 07, 2006

Violence prevention programs

Children exhibiting or at risk for exhibiting aggressive behavior benefit from attending violence prevention classes at school, according to a new review of published studies, Reuters reported.

The most useful school-based violence prevention programs are those that teach children how to get along better with people -- teaching them skills such as listening, thinking about the feelings of others, working together, and learning how to be assertive without being aggressive. Interventions designed to improve relationship or social skills are more effective than those designed to teach skills of "non-response to provocative situations."
The studies found that the programs produce improvements in behavior in both older and younger children and in both boys-only and mixed-sex groups. The programs reduce aggressive behavior and lead to a drop in disciplinary action.

The programs are important because “early aggressive behavior is a risk factor for later violence and criminal behavior," the Cochrane Library reports.