Violence Prevention Curriculum for Adolescents

An Effective Practice


The Violence Prevention Curriculum for Adolescents (VPC) provides adolescents with information on risk factors for interpersonal violence and skills for choosing alternatives to fighting. The 10- to 18-session curriculum uses lectures, discussions, and interactive role-plays. Sessions generally last 40 minutes. VPC is part of the Teenage Health Teaching Modules program, a comprehensive school health education curriculum for adolescents.

Goal / Mission

The goals of the curriculum are to 1) illustrate that violence is preventable, 2) teach students that anger is a normal part of life and that anger can be expressed and channeled in healthy, constructive ways, 3) help students understand that controlling anger and violence is part of maturing, 4) identify positive ways for students to express their anger, and 5) help them think about and use alternatives to violence in conflict situations.

Results / Accomplishments

This program was evaluated by two separate studies. The first study suggested that the curriculum reduced the immediate risk of becoming a perpetrator or victim of violence for boys, but not for girls. Specifically, the study found significantly lower frequencies of armed threats and physical fighting for boys in the curriculum versus the comparison group. Moreover, boys receiving the curriculum showed significantly lower rates of problem behavior and drug use. No significant effects were noted for girls or for the overall curriculum sample.

The results of the second study indicate that students receiving the in-class curriculum showed a 71 percent reduction in suspension rates, while the nonclassroom participants showed no change in their suspension rates. Students in the schoolwide exposure condition showed a decrease in suspension rates, but these results were statistically insignificant. Overall, results suggest that violence prevention education can reduce negative school behaviors, particularly when supplemented by other supportive curricula and activities.

About this Promising Practice

Primary Contact
Erica Macheca
Education Development Center, Inc.
55 Chapel Street
Newton, MA 02458
(617) 969-7100
Education / School Environment
Public Safety / Crime & Crime Prevention
Health / Mental Health & Mental Disorders
Education Development Center, Inc.
The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention's Model Programs Guide (MPG)
Date of implementation
Geographic Type
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Target Audience