Prevention Science

, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 194–204 | Cite as

The Role of Collaboration in Facilitating Policy Change in Youth Violence Prevention: a Review of the Literature

  • Jeanelle J. Sugimoto-Matsuda
  • Kathryn L. Braun


Youth violence remains a serious public health issue nationally and internationally. The social ecological model has been recommended as a framework to design youth violence prevention initiatives, requiring interventions at the micro-, meso-, exo-, and macro-levels. However, documentation of interventions at the macro-level, particularly those that address policy issues, is limited. This study examines a recommendation in the literature that formalized collaborations play a vital role in stimulating macro-level policy change. The purpose of this systematic literature review is to examine existing youth violence prevention collaborations and evaluate their policy-related outcomes. The search found 23 unique collaborations focused on youth violence prevention. These were organized into three groups based on the “catalyst” for action for the collaboration—internal (momentum began within the community), external (sparked by an external agency), or policy (mandated by law). Findings suggest that internally catalyzed collaborations were most successful at changing laws to address youth violence, while both internally and externally catalyzed collaborations successfully attained policy change at the organizational level. A conceptual model is proposed, describing a potential pathway for achieving macro-level change via collaboration. Recommendations for future research and practice are suggested, including expansion of this study to capture additional collaborations, investigation of macro-level changes with a primary prevention focus, and improvement of evaluation, dissemination, and translation of macro-level initiatives.


Youth violence Policy Collaboration Social ecological Literature review 



The authors have no financial disclosures or conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Society for Prevention Research 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeanelle J. Sugimoto-Matsuda
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Kathryn L. Braun
    • 2
  1. 1.John A. Burns School of Medicine, Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Hawai‘i at MānoaHonoluluUSA
  2. 2.John A. Burns School of Medicine, Office of Public Health StudiesUniversity of Hawai‘i at MānoaHonoluluUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Hawai‘iHonoluluUSA

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