Indicators for Evaluating Community- and Societal-Level Risk and Protective Factors for Violence Prevention: Findings From a Review of the Literature

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Abstract

Programs geared toward preventing violence before it occurs at the community and societal levels of the social ecology are particularly challenging to evaluate. These programs are often focused on impacting the antecedents (or risk and protective factors) to violence, making it difficult to determine program success when solely relying on measures of violence reduction. The goal of this literature review is to identify indicators to measure risk and protective factors for violence that are accessible and measured at the community level. Indicators of community- and societal-level risk and protective factors from 116 articles are identified. These indicators strengthen violence prevention researchers' and practitioners' ability to detect proximal effects of violence prevention programs, practices, and policies, and provide timely feedback on the impact of their work. Thus, opportunities exist for violence prevention researchers to further study the associations between various indicators and different violent outcomes and to inform practitioner, evaluator, and funder developed logic models that include indicators of relevant risk and protective factors for crosscutting violence prevention measures and outcomes.

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