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Evaluation of Violence Prevention Programs in Middle Schools

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This paper evaluates violence prevention programs in middle schools.
A 16-month evaluation compared the separate and combined impact of the following New York City middle school violence prevention programs from February 1993 to June 1994: (1) Project S.T.O.P. (Schools Teaching Options for Peace), a traditional conflict resolution program, which included a curriculum and peer mediation; and (2) the Safe Harbor Program, which included a 20-session curriculum, a counseling component, and a schoolwide anti-violence campaign. Students at high risk for personal experiences with and exposure to severe forms of conflict sought participation in these programs. Project S.T.O.P. led students to use reasoning more frequently to resolve conflicts and the Safe Harbor program changed their beliefs in the necessity of violent retaliation. Students who had a high exposure to Project S.T.O.P. were more knowledgeable about rape and sexual assault and maintained fewer negative attitudes toward rape victims. Participation in both programs also altered the belief that respect was achieved through violence.
Date Created: July 28, 2006