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25.05.2019 | Original Article | Ausgabe 2/2020

Journal of Family Violence 2/2020

Evaluating the Effects of an Adolescent Family Violence Intervention Program on Recidivism among Court-Involved Youth

Zeitschrift:
Journal of Family Violence > Ausgabe 2/2020
Autoren:
Amanda B. Gilman, Sarah C. Walker
Wichtige Hinweise

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Abstract

Child to family violence is a significant problem, and research on effective programs is lacking. The current study evaluates Step Up, a group intervention program for youth and parents to address youth-initiated patterns of violence. In this retrospective evaluation, we compared 115 court-involved youth who participated in Step Up between 2006 and 2015 to a propensity score weighted group of court-involved youth who had never participated in the program on three outcomes: general recidivism, assault-related recidivism, and domestic violence (DV)-related recidivism. The two groups were adequately balanced on 13 variables capturing background risk prior to outcome analyses. After propensity score weighting, the treatment group showed a significantly lower risk of general recidivism within 12 months, regardless of program completion (21.7% versus 30.9% for the comparison group). Program completion appeared to further boost positive results, as the risk of general recidivism was 14.7%, compared to 27.3% for the weighted comparison sample. However, program participation was not significantly related to either assault-related recidivism or DV-related recidivism, after controlling for background risk. The results of this study indicate that Step Up shows some promise as an effective program to reduce recidivism for youth engaged in child to family violence. However, the results are somewhat mixed, given the lack of effect on future assault-related and DV-related court referrals. Implications for policy and practice are discussed.

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