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Violence as a Public Health Issue- Spring 2023

I selected the street gang violence topic. 

The book is  Violence: The Enduring Problem (4th edition) by Ronat Bachman. I don't have the book. If you find it online, it would be great and if not you can use chatgtp to get quotes from the book. 


Violence as a Public Health Issue- Spring 2023

Final assignment: Design a program that works toward preventing and/or controlling violence using a public health approach


Develop a program that seeks to prevent and or control one type of violence that has been covered in the class this semester. The program should use a public health approach, meaning that the program focuses on prevention and upstream causes of violence which may be within the health sector or beyond.

You will need to use the textbook and 5 additional sources to complete the assignment. You will submit a written description of the organization using the below form via BlackBoard. Below you will find details for completing the assignment.

The project is 20% of your grade for the course.


Imagine that you are a member of a community with a high prevalence of a certain type of violence. You have been given the opportunity to apply for a $50,000 grant from the WPU Foundation to start a program that works toward preventing and/or decreasing this type of violence. You have been asked to submit to the Foundation a one-page summary on your ideas on why controlling this type of violence is essential and how to go about preventing and controlling this violence that is causing harm to your community. Remember, you are the founder and president of the program, so its design is in your very capable hands!


The first step in this assignment is to choose a topic that has been covered in the class that you are interested in and would like to learn more about. With input from many of you, I have developed a list of organizations that work to prevent different types of violence. Use this list to learn about how violence prevention programs are structured and what types of activities comprise a violence prevention program.

When reading through the list of organizations and their work, think about what types of program activities are used (training, interrupters, hotlines, early child education, women’s empowerment classes, mentorship, enhancing positive student behavior, attendance, and academic achievement through consistent rewards and monitoring, bullying prevention, improve community supervision, train teachers and parents to manage disruptive youth, teach students interpersonal skills, etc). Which ones have been evaluated and proven to be effective? This is not a creative writing exercise. I expect that the components in your program are well thought out and based on research you have done on what works and why.

The program you develop should have two sections: 1). background data and information on the type of violence your program is working to prevent and/or decrease and 2). description of program activities. If this were a real-life proposal, you would need to include a budget and staffing plan. However, this is not necessary for this assignment. Just keep in mind that you are requesting $50,000.

The program document should be 3-5 pages and must include the following three sections (note, the questions are meant as a guide; you do not need to answer directly each question):

Background information (1-2 pages; 4 pts)

(1) Description/definition of the type of violence.

(2) What is the context of the problem and the magnitude of the type of violence you have chosen as the focus of your program?

a. Where does this violence occur and therefore where is your program based? (urban areas or within rural populations, both)? For some of you you may chose to be very specific (ie, Ann Arbor Michigan or Newark).

b. How many people are affected by this violence? (look up the data – how many people in the U.S. per year are directly or indirectly affected by this type of violence? How frequently does this type of violence occur?)

c. Who is affected by it (ie, women, men, children, adolescents, ethnic minorities)

d. What are the social conditions in which this violence tends to occur? (Are there social factors that tend to increase vulnerability for being abused or for experiencing more severe effects of violence such as race, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation and other background factors)?

(3) What are the risk factors for the type of violence? Does this violence appear to be more prevalent in urban areas? Among less educated people? People who lack a supportive community? People whose family members have been involved in or victims of the same type of violence?

(4) The foundation looks at many proposals. Why should they prioritize this topic?

(5) Make sure to include references for all data used (either footnotes or endnotes, just choose one style and be consistent throughout the paper).

Program activities (1-2 pages; 3pts)

Using the list of organizations and the two assigned articles as resources, list and explain at least three program activities. Be specific when you explain the program activities that you are including in your organization. Who will participate both as leaders and as clients in the program? What are the goals and timeline for each activity? What does success look like?

Again, what gets included must be based on your research and not just what is seemingly a good idea. Please reference an existing program when describing the activities you have chosen to include in your program (ie, the interrupters in CeaseFire or include the name of the organization whose activity you are replicating in your reference list).

Summary (1 page; 2pts)

Include a one-page summary of the background and program activities. This should not be written in essay form. Think about how you would convey the information to a busy person working for a foundation who doesn’t necessarily have time to read through your essay. For example, you could use bullet points for key messages, include visuals such as graphs or photographs. Be creative!

Use endnotes to cite all references (1point)

Guidelines for use of endnotes:

Use a superscript number, such as 1after the data or quote that you are citing. Use the same number in the corresponding notes entry (if you use the ‘references’ tab in Microsoft Word, it will insert a superscript number and then directly take you to the end of the paper where you can list the full reference and website where it was found, if applicable).

The way you list the references should be consistent for all references listed. For example: Mark Lessing, “Diversity in College Increases.”  Education Today 5, no. 2  (Spring 2018): 12, 


This final assignment is worth 20% of your grade for the class. You will be graded based on the extent to which you follow the instructions in this assignment both in terms of content and organization. The points for each component are listed above. If you have any questions on this assignment, don’t hesitate to reach out to me.

Background Resources:

· Gang Prevention: An Overview of Research and Programs

· Youth Violence: A Report of the Surgeon General:

· Public Health Approach to Violence Prevention:



Study guide for weeks 1&2 Chapter 1: Defining Violence Chapter 2: Why do we do it and articles assigned Be sure to read the footnotes that in some cases describe the slide content


Violence: consisting of discrete acts that are separate from each other.

Unity of human aggression.

Violence has been viewed as a PH issue since 1979; Surgeon General’s report Healthy People

Alvarez, Violence, Fourth edition. © SAGE Publications, 2021.


Violence: Violence is connected by a web of actions and behaviors, ideas, perceptions, and justifications.

Unity of human aggression: A number of essential characteristics that bind violent behaviors together.


Defining Violence

Violence encompasses different behaviors.

Violence perceived in different ways.

Violence is loaded and evokes powerful emotions.

Violent offenders tend to provide justifications.

Alvarez, Violence, Fourth edition. © SAGE Publications, 2021.


Violence encompasses different behaviors in different situations: Recognizing all of them as being categorically part of the same phenomenon can be difficult, especially if the violence is not always evident in the act. Pulling the trigger of a gun, for example, or pressing a button that launches a missile may not be violent actions in and of themselves, but the consequences of these actions unquestionably are violent.

Violence perceived in different ways: Many people only use the term in reference to physical acts of aggression and harm, while others include emotional or psychological acts as well. For example, the World Health Organization (WHO) includes both psychological aggression and deprivation/neglect in their definition of interpersonal violence. For some, violence refers solely to human-perpetrated acts, while others include destructive natural forces, such as tornadoes, storms, earthquakes, and hurricanes. Accidental acts of harm are also not always defined as violence. Some individuals only use the word to refer to illegal or illegitimate acts of aggression. Other words are often used to describe aggressive acts that are socially approved.

Violence is loaded and usually evokes powerful emotions: Lawrence Friedman writes, “In part, violence is a matter of definition, or at least of perspective. . .Every society defines a sphere of legitimate private violence.” In other words, the legitimacy or illegitimacy of any particular act lies not in any intrinsic quality of the act itself, but rather in how we define it.


Defining Violence

The Context of Violence is:

Shaped by several factors.

Condemned if the victim is identified with.

Rationalized and accepted if perpetrator identified with.

Affects how we perceive and define specific acts.

Alvarez, Violence, Fourth edition. © SAGE Publications, 2021.


Shaped in large part by several factors:

The victim.

The offender.

The specific nature of the violence.

The location of the violence.

The rationale for the violence.

Violence condemned if victim is identified with: The greater the social distance between us and the victim, the less likely it is that we will empathize with them.

Rationalized and accepted if perpetrator is identified with: If we know and can identify more easily with the perpetrator than with the victim, we will be more willing to find ways to rationalize and accept the violence.


Defining Violence

The Context of Violence

Location: Important variable.

Justification for violence is important in defining violence to help the audience understand why it occurred.

violence is difficult to define – not all people define violence in the same way (ie, self-defense?)

Acts of violence judged selectively.

Alvarez, Violence, Fourth edition. © SAGE Publications, 2021.


Location: Historically, if violence was perpetrated in the home, it was generally conceded to be much more acceptable than if it was carried out in a public place or work setting. What happened behind closed doors was once considered to be private and no one’s business. This was especially true if the victim was a wife or child and the perpetrator was the husband or father. In public, however, violence was more easily condemned.

Justification: Helps the social audience understand the rationale for the aggressive behavior.

Difficult to define violence: One segment of a society may define an act as violence, while another segment may deem it justifiable self-defense.

Acts of violence judged selectively: Some call forth our interest and compassion and demand an emotional response, while others barely stir any interest. Some receive our approval, while others earn our condemnation.


Defining Violence

The Context of Violence

Alvarez, Violence, Fourth edition. © SAGE Publications, 2021.


Situation in Which One Man (Assailant) Punches an Adult Stranger Percentage of Respondents Who Approve of the Violence
If the adult stranger was in a protest march showing opposition to the assailant’s views 9
If the adult stranger was drunk and bumped into the assailant and his wife on the street 8
If the adult stranger had hit the assailant’s child after the child accidentally damaged the stranger’s car 26
If the adult stranger was beating up a woman and the assailant saw it 56
If the adult stranger had broken into the assailant’s house 47
Situation in Which a Police Officer Strikes an Adult Male Citizen Percentage of Respondents Who Approve of the Violence
If the male citizen had used vulgar and obscene language against the officer 12
If the male citizen was being questioned as a suspect in a murder case 8
If the male citizen was attempting to escape from custody 67
If the male citizen was attacking the police officer with his fists 88

TABLE 1.1 Attitudes Toward Violent Situations

Source: Adapted from Leslie W. Kennedy and David R. Forde, When Push Comes to Shove: A Routine Conflict

Approach to Violence (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1999).

Table 1.1 Attitudes Toward Violent Situations.

Leslie Kennedy and David Forde examined the attitudes of a sample of Canadians to determine levels of support for the same act of violence in different situations. Their findings are summarized in Table 1.1 and reveal that the same violent behavior receives widely disparate levels of support and approval depending upon the situation in which it occurred.


Defining Violence

Alvarez, Violence, Fourth edition. © SAGE Publications, 2021.


Author Definition of Violence
Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary “Exertion of physical force so as to injure or abuse . . . intense, turbulent, or furious and often destructive action or force”1
The National Panel on the Understanding and Control of Violent Behavior “Behaviors by individuals that intentionally threaten, attempt, or inflict physical harm on others”2
Newman “A series of events, the course of which or the outcomes of which, cause injury or damage to persons or property”3
Iadicola and Shupe “Violence is any action or structural arrangement that results in physical or nonphysical harm to one or more persons”4
Weiner, Zahn, and Sagi “The threat, attempt, or use of physical force by one or more persons that results in physical or nonphysical harm to one or more persons”5
Bartol and Bartol “Destructive physical aggression intentionally directed at harming other persons or things”6
Bartol and Bartol “Behavior perpetrated or attempted with the intention of harming another individual physically or psychologically (as opposed to socially) or to destroy an object”7
Berkowitz “Any form of behavior that is intended to injure someone physically or psychologically”8

TABLE 1.2 Definitions of Violence


1. Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary (Springfield, MA: G. & C. Merriam and Company).

2. Albert J. Reiss and Jeffrey A. Roth, eds., Understanding and Preventing Violence (Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1993), 2.

3. Graeme Newman, “Popular Culture and Violence: Decoding the Violence of Popular Movies,” in Popular Culture, Crime, and Justice, eds. Frankie Bailey and Donna Hale (Belmont, CA: West/Wadsworth, 1998), 40–56.

4. Peter Iadicola and Anson Shupe, Violence, Inequality, and Human Freedom (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2003), 23.

5. Neil Alan Weiner, Margaret A. Zahn, and Rita J. Sagi, Violence: Patterns, Causes, Public Policy (San Diego, CA: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1990), xiii.

6. Curt R. Bartol and Anne M. Bartol, Criminal Behavior: A Psychosocial Approach (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2005), 241.

7. Curt R. Bartol and Anne M. Bartol, Criminal Behavior: A Psychosocial Approach (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2005), 241.

8. Leonard Berkowitz, Aggression: Its Causes, Consequences, and Control (New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 1993), 3.

Table 1.2 Definitions of Violence. Table provides a list of some of the more popular definitions.


Measuring Violence (1 of 5)

Reports to Law Enforcement Officials

Uniform Crime Reporting Program.

Supplementary Homicide Reports.

National Incident-Based Reporting System.

Police recorded crime data problematic.

Alvarez, Violence, Fourth edition. © SAGE Publications, 2021.


Uniform Crime Reporting Program (UCR): Compiled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The UCR has collected information about criminal incidents of violence reported to the police since 1930; the reports are based on the voluntary participation of state, county, and city law enforcement agencies across the United States.

Supplementary Homicide Reports: For the crime of homicide, information about both the victim and the offender (e.g., the gender and race of both, the relationship between the victim and offender, the weapon used) is obtained in a separate reporting program called the Supplementary Homicide Reports (SHR).

National Incident-Based Reporting System: Unfortunately, such detailed information is not collected for other crimes in the UCR. To remedy this problem, the FBI implemented a change in its collection of crime information to include more characteristics of the incident; appropriately, this is called the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS). Data are more specific than UCR data.

Police recorded crime data problematic: In England and Wales, they measure crimes that have been reported to the police in a program called police recorded crime (PRC). These police reported data that rely on reported victimizations only in both the United Kingdom and the United States are problematic. If victimizations are not reported to police, they are never counted, and based on comparisons with national survey data, it is estimated that only about 40% to 50% of crimes become known to police. This is true in the United Kingdom as well as in the United States. This is particularly problematic for certain types of violence, such as rape and violence that occurs between intimates, such as spouses and boy/girlfriends.


Measuring Violence (2 of 5)

Victimization Surveys

Congress established Law Enforcement Assistance Administration.

National Crime Survey launched in 1972.

LEAA replaced by Bureau of Justice Statistics.

BJS initiated major redesign of NCS.

Alvarez, Violence, Fourth edition. © SAGE Publications, 2021.


Law Enforcement Assistance Administration: In 1968, Congress established the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration (LEAA), which formed a statistical division that fielded several surveys to measure national rates of crime victimization. These surveys confirmed the suspicion that the amount of crime being committed in the United States was much higher than the amount reported by the UCR.

Bureau of Justice Statistics: In 1980, the LEAA was replaced by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), which is still responsible for conducting and analyzing a number of sources of data related to crime and victimization.

Major redesign of the NCS: In 1986, the BJS initiated a major redesign of the NCS to improve it in several ways, including the extent to which it captured crimes like IPV that occurred between husband/wives and boy/girlfriends along with rape and sexual assault victimizations.


Measuring Violence (3 of 5)

Victimization Surveys

NCVS makes distinction between “incidents” and “victimizations.”

BJS generally reports victimization rates.

National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey.

Lifetime prevalence.

Alvarez, Violence, Fourth edition. © SAGE Publications, 2021.


Distinction between “incidents” and “victimizations”: The number of victimizations reflect how many victimization acts were experienced by survey respondents, while the number of incidents reflects the number of acts committed against respondents and others present during such incidents, as reported by survey respondents.

Bureau of Justice Statistics generally reports victimization rates: That is the number of people 12 and older who experience a particular type of victimization divided by the total number of people 12 and older in the population per 1,000 people.

National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey: Goal is to provide national estimates of both lifetime and past 12-month prevalence rates of intimate partner violence and sexual violence by all offenders.

Lifetime prevalence: Refers to the proportion of people in a given population who have ever experienced a particular form of victimization.


Measuring Violence (4 of 5)

Victimization Surveys

12-month prevalence rates.

Estimates obtained assumed to be representative of U.S. population.

According to NCVS, in 2018 more than 3.3 million Americans over the age of 12 were victims of violent crimes.

Alvarez, Violence, Fourth edition. © SAGE Publications, 2021.


12-month prevalence rates: Provide information about the proportion of people in a given population who have experienced a particular victimization in the 12 months prior to taking the survey.


Measuring Violence (5 of 5)

Measuring Offending Behavior

Researchers rely on survey methodology.

National Longitudinal Survey of Youth.


A study of newspaper reporting of homicides found that 5% of homicides received the majority of attention.

Alvarez, Violence, Fourth edition. © SAGE Publications, 2021.


National Longitudinal Survey of Youth: Source of offending data comes from National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. Sponsored by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Validity: Extent to which we are actually measuring what we think we are. For example, a question measuring stress would be valid only if it can differentiate between those who have high stress compared to those with low stress. Studies that have investigated this issue using several different types of samples have shown that they are remarkably valid.


Violence and U.S. Society

Alvarez, Violence, Fourth edition. © SAGE Publications, 2021.


Figure 1.3 Violent Crime Rates, 1993–2017, per 1,000 Persons Age 12 or Older.


Violence and U.S. Society

Alvarez, Violence, Fourth edition. © SAGE Publications, 2021.


Figure 1.4 Homicide Rates per 100,000 Persons in the United States by Geographical Context, 1992–2017.



Violence and U.S. Society

Alvarez, Violence, Fourth edition. © SAGE Publications, 2021.


Figure 1.5 Murder Rates per 100,000 by Country, 2016.


Violence and U.S. Society

Alvarez, Violence, Fourth edition. © SAGE Publications, 2021.


Figure 1.6 Number of Student, Staff, and Nonstudent School-Associated Violent Deaths, and Number of Homicides and Suicides of Youth Ages 5–18 at School, School Years 1992–1993 to 2014–2015.


Biological Explanations of Violence


Helps relay data message.

Deficiencies linked to variety of disorders.

Acts as impulse inhibitor.

Warrior gene.

Chronic stress wears away

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