Latest research paper explores Public Health Approaches for Youth Violence Prevention

The latest paper published by Queen’s University Belfast (QUB), in conjunction with the NI Executive’s Tackling Paramilitarism, Criminality and Organised Crime Programme is a rapid review of public health approaches to prevent youth violence. The report, which analysed 60 sources, found some consistency in principles but differences in how these were put into practice.


The report outlines five key themes that make up public health approaches: priorities like good data; principles like addressing root causes; policies to support prevention; practices like identifying risks and evaluating programs; and evidence-based programs at primary, secondary and tertiary levels.  These themes offer a framework for complex prevention which often requires multiple programs being delivered concurrently.


The report concludes that core parts of public health approaches to youth violence and gaps need to be addressed. Important practical factors like making programs adaptable and fitting them to context are underexplored and more detailed evaluations of real-world programs could improve understanding.


Dr Colm Walsh from QUB said: “Key practical details to make evidence-based programs more achievable are often missing from research. For example, there is little on ‘adaptability’ – how new organisations can successfully copy programs. This paper begins that discussion but also highlights that more research on these practical factors is needed.”


To read the report, please click on the link below.