Character Education as a Prevention Strategy in School-Related Violence
Prevention education is seen as a key component in addressing school violence. Three hundred and three fourth grade students in 9 elementary schools in a predominantly rural community were provided a specialized program of character education as a prevention tool to reduce the potential for deviant behavior. Students in 3 schools were in the no treatment control condition. Students in the remaining 6 schools received a school-based and curriculum driven character education program; two of the schools were in the curriculum only condition while in four of the schools students were randomly selected to receive a protocol-driven summer academic (6 weeks) and experiential education/program. The intervention results suggest that the students who received the academic/camp intervention had the greatest increases in social competence, the largest gains in reading achievement, and the largest increase in parental interaction. Recommendations for prevention education are discussed at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels.
KEY WORDS:prevention education character education school violence
The authors wish to acknowledge the assistance of Thomas Holcomb, Ed.D.; Janeen Klaproth; Jill Livingstone, MLS; Tag Heister, MLS; Deborah Kessler, MLS; Amy Pierce, Katrina Scott, Miranda Rogers, and Kate Smith, Library Services; Lon Hays M.D., Allen Brenzel, M.D., and Cathy Martin, M.D., Department of Psychiatry; and Brenda Frommer for their contributions to the completion of this manuscript. Funding from the Center for Prevention Research and National Institute on Drug Abuse Contract #05312 supported, in part, this research.
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