Effectiveness of a mentor-implemented, violence prevention intervention for assault-injured youths presenting to the emergency department: Results of a randomized trial

Tina L. Cheng, Denise Haynie, Ruth Brenner, Joseph L. Wright, Shang En Chung, Bruce Simons-Morton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective. The goal was to assess the impact of a mentor-implemented, violence prevention intervention in reducing aggression, fighting, and reinjury among assault-injured youths. Methods. In a randomized, controlled trial performed in the emergency departments of 2 large urban hospitals, 10- to 15-year-old youths who presented with peer assault injuries were recruited and randomly assigned to intervention and comparison groups. In the intervention group, youths received a mentor, who implemented a 6-session problem-solving curriculum, and parents received 3 home visits with a health educator, to discuss family needs and to facilitate service use and parental monitoring. The comparison group received a list of community resources, with 2 follow-up telephone calls to facilitate service use. Youths and parents were interviewed at baseline and at 6 months, for assessment of attitudes about violence, risk factors, fighting, and repeat injury. Results. A total of 227 families were recruited, with 23% refusing participation and 4% providing partial interview completion. A total of 166 families were enrolled, with 87 assigned to the intervention group and 79 to the comparison group;118 (71%) completed both youth and parent follow-up interviews, and 113 had usable data. The intervention and comparison groups were not significantly different at baseline with respect to demographic features or risk factors, except for increased knife-carrying and fewer deviant peers in the intervention group. After adjustment for baseline differences, there was a trend toward significant program effects, including reduced misdemeanor activity and youth-reported aggression scores and increased youth self-efficacy. Program impact was associated with the number of intervention sessions received. Conclusions. A community-based, mentor-implemented program with assault-injured youths who presented to the emergency department trended in the direction of decreased violence, with reduced misdemeanors and increased self-efficacy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)938-946
Number of pages9
JournalPediatrics
Volume122
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2008

Keywords

  • Adolescent health
  • Emergency department
  • Fighting
  • Injury prevention and control
  • Youth violence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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