Office of Epidemiology and Research, Division of Research

Advancing Applied MCH Research

Community-Based Violence Prevention for High-Risk Youth

Funded Projects Search

Advanced Search >>

Project Number: R40 MC 00325-04 (R40 MC 00174)
Grantee: The Johns Hopkins University
Department/Center: General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine
Project Date: 01/01/2000

Final Report

Community-Based Violence Prevention for High-Risk Youth Final Report (PDF) Exit Disclaimer

Principal Investigator

Tina Cheng, M.D., M.P.H.
600 N. Wolfe Street, Park 392
Baltimore, MD  21287-3144
Phone: (410) 614-3862


  • Adolescence (12-18 years)


America's greatest resource is its youth, but that resource is increasingly threatened by violence. Recommendations for violence prevention have highlighted the need to focus on youth and to explore targeted interventions. Nowhere is the need greater than in our nation's capital where the intentional injury fatality rate for youth age 14-19 is higher than any of the 50 states. Building on the CDC-supported project "Adolescent Violence: A Community-Based Strategy" which instituted city-wide surveillance of injuries, this proposal extends our work to identify high risk individuals and develop and test interventions. Our aims are 1) To assess violence prevention services provided to assault victims in the emergency department (ED) and after discharge, 2) To assess the receptiveness of injured youth and their families presenting to the ED to violence prevention interventions, and 3) In a sample of high risk youth presenting to the ED with assault injuries, determine the feasibility and effectiveness of an individualized home-based youth & family intervention with community involvement. Prior intentional injury is a significant risk factor for subsequent injury. Presentation to an ED for an injury may be a sentinel event and opportunity for prevention. We hypothesize, however, that among assault-injured youth age 10-14, many are involved in risky behavior and few are offered violence prevention services in the ED or after discharge. We also hypothesize that a high proportion are willing to participate in violence prevention interventions recommended by hospital personnel. Though many violence programs assume a uniform etiologic basis for youth violence and that the same behavioral intervention would be effective for all youth, we postulate that strategies for intervention differ depending on injury cause, circumstances, risk, protective factors, and community factors. Home visiting family-based education programs targeting high risk infants have been effective in preventing child abuse, neglect and future antisocial behavior. We test the feasibility and impact of an individual home visiting intervention in an early adolescent high risk population. The intervention includes a six session youth curriculum implemented by community mentors, three session parent curriculum, and linkage to community services based on family need. Focusing on parental supervision and monitoring, youth social skills and self esteem, and community linkage, we target assault-injured youth presenting to the ED to reduce future violence and injury.


Listed is descending order by year published.

Anixt JS, Copeland-Linder N, Haynie D, et al. Burden of unmet mental health needs in assault-injured youths presenting to the emergency department. Academic Pediatrics. 2012;12(2):125-130.

Copeland-Linder N, Johnson SB, Haynie DL, Chung SE, Cheng TL. Retaliatory attitudes and violent behaviors among assault-injured youth. J Adolesc Health. 2012 Mar;50(3):215-220.

Copeland-Linder N, Jones V, Haynie DL, Simons-Morton BG, Wright JL, Cheng TL. Factors associated with retaliatory attitudes among African American adolescents who have been assaulted. J Pediatr Psychol. 2007 Aug;32(7):760-70. Epub 2007 Apr 2.

Cheng TL, Johnson S, Wright JL, Pearson-Fields AS, Brenner R, Schwarz D, et al. Assault-injured adolescents presenting to the emergency department: causes and circumstances. Acad Emerg Med. 2006 Jun;13(6):610-6. Epub 2006 Apr 11.

Johnson SB, Frattaroli S, Wright JL, Pearson-Fields CB, Cheng TL. Urban youths' perspectives on violence and the necessity of fighting. Inj Prev. 2004 Oct;10(5):287-91.

Cheng TL, Schwarz D, Brenner RA, Wright JL, Fields CB, O'Donnell R, et al. Adolescent assault injury: risk and protective factors and locations of contact for intervention. Pediatrics. 2003 Oct;112(4):931-8.


Emergency Care, Trauma & Injury, Risk Behaviors, Home Visiting, Health Education & Family Support

Title V in Your State