Youth violence is a major problem in the United States. It remains the third leading cause of death among youth between the ages of 10 and 24 years and the leading cause of death in Blacks between 10 and 24 years of age. In its effort to prevent youth violence, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention funds six Youth Violence Prevention Centers (YVPCs) to design, implement and evaluate community-based youth violence prevention programs. These Centers rely on surveillance data to monitor youth violence and evaluate the impact of their interventions. In public health, surveillance entails a systematic collection and analysis of data, typically within defined populations. In the case of youth violence, surveillance data may include archival records from medical examiners, death certificates, hospital discharges, emergency room visits, ambulance pickups, juvenile justice system intakes, police incident reports, and school disciplinary incidents and actions. This article illustrates the process the YVPCs used for collecting and utilizing youth violence surveillance data. Specifically, we will describe available surveillance data sources, describe community-level outcomes, illustrate effective utilization of the data, and discuss the benefits and limitations of each data source. Public health professionals should utilize local surveillance data to monitor and describe youth violence in the community. Further, the data can be used to evaluate the impact of interventions in improving community-level outcomes.
- Community level outcomes
- Youth violence
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health