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Strengthen the Evidence for Maternal and Child Health Programs

New: MCHbest strategies database for sample ESMs

Evidence Tools
MCHbest. NPM 7: Injury Hospitilization

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Strategy. Intensive Residential Program + Mentoring to Decrease Youth Violence

Approach. Implement residential program with mentoring to decrease youth violence.

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Overview. Youth violence is a significant public health problem that affects thousands of young people each day, and in turn, their families, schools, and communities.1 For children who already display elevated levels of aggressive behavior, more intensive or selective interventions that focus on risk and protective factors most relevant for them have proven effective. In addition, because a small number of youths often account for a disproportionate share of violence at their school, effectively intervening with high-risk students may have a substantial impact on schoolwide rates of violent and aggressive behavior.2 3 4

Evidence. Moderate. Community-based, military-styled programs appear to be highly successful in improving education, employment and health outcomes. Programs based on this strategy are likely to work. This strategy has been tested more than once and results trend positive overall. Access the peer-reviewed evidence through the MCH Digital Library. (Read more about understanding evidence ratings).

Target Audience. Children who have dropped out of high school..

Outcome. Reduction in youth violence. For detailed outcomes related to each study supporting this strategy, click on the peer-reviewed evidence link above and read the “Intervention Results” for each study.

Examples from the Field. Access descriptions of ESMs that use this strategy directly or intervention components that align with this strategy. You can use these ESMs to see how other Title V agencies are addressing the NPM. You may also want to look at evidence that supports educational programs in other NPM topic areas that can be translated to this specific topic area.

Sample ESMs. Using the approach “Implement military-styled residential program with mentoring to decrease youth violence,” here are sample ESMs you can use as a model for your own measures using the Results-Based Accountability framework:

Quadrant 1:
Measuring Quantity of Effort
("What/how much did we do?")

  • Number of children who participate in a residential program who have dropped out of high school.

Quadrant 2:
Measuring Quality of Effort
("How well did we do it?")

  • Percent of children who participate in a residential program who have dropped out of high school.

Quadrant 3:
Measuring Quantity of Effect
("Is anyone better off?")

  • Number of children who have improved education, employment and health outcomes as a result of completing a residential program designed for children who dropped out of high school.

Quadrant 4:
Measuring Quality of Effect
("How are they better off?")

  • Percent of children who have improved education, employment and health outcomes as a result of completing a residential program designed for children who dropped out of high school.

Note. ESMs become stronger as they move from measuring quantity to measuring quality (moving from Quadrants 1 and 3, respectively, to Quadrants 2 and 4) and from measuring effort to measuring effect (moving from Quadrants 1 and 2, respectively, to Quadrants 3 and 4).

Learn More. Read how to create stronger ESMs and how to measure ESM impact more meaningfully through Results-Based Accountability.


References:

1 David-Ferdon, C., Vivolo-Kantor, A. M., Dahlberg, L. L., Marshall, K. J., Rainford, N., & Hall, J. E. (2016). A comprehensive technical package for the prevention of youth violence and associated risk behaviors.

2 Bloom D, Gardenhire-Crooks A, Mandsager C. Reengaging High School Dropouts: Early Results of the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program Evaluation. Full Report. New York, NY: MDRC; 2009.

3 Millenky M, Schwartz SEO, Rhodes JE. Supporting the transition to adulthood among high school dropouts: an impact study of the national guard youth challenge program. Prevention Science 2014;15: 448–59.

4 Schwartz SEO, Rhodes JE, Spencer R, Grossman JB. Youth initiated mentoring: investigating a new approach to working with vulnerable adolescents. American Journal of Community Psychology 2013;52: 155–69.

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number U02MC31613, MCH Advanced Education Policy, $3.5 M. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.