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Glossary

 

Youth Violence Terms

Bullying

Bullying is a form of youth violence. Although definitions of bullying vary, most agree that bullying includes:

  • Attack or intimidation with the intention to cause fear, distress, or harm;
  • A real or perceived imbalance of power between the bully and the victim; and
  • Repeated attacks or intimidation between the same children over time.

Bullying can include aggression that is physical (hitting, tripping), verbal (name calling, teasing), or psychological/social (spreading rumours, leaving out of group). Bullying is characterized by acts of intentional harm, repeated over-time, in a relationship where an imbalance of power exists.
~Understanding Bullying Fact Sheet, US Centers for Disease Control, 2012.

Cyber Bullying (also see Electronic Aggression)

Any type of harassment or bullying (teasing, telling lies, making fun of someone, making rude or mean comments, spreading rumours, or making threatening or aggressive comments) that occurs through email, a chat room, instant messaging, a website (including blogs), or text messaging.
~ Hertz MF, David-Ferdon C. Electronic Media and Youth Violence: A CDC Issue Brief for Educators and Caregivers. Atlanta (GA): Centers for Disease Control; 2008.

Dating Violence

Dating violence is any intentional sexual, physical or psychological attack on one partner by the other in a dating relationship.
~ Health Canada. Dating Violence, 1995.

Electronic Aggression (also see Cyber Bullying)

Any type of harassment or bullying (teasing, telling lies, making fun of someone, making rude or mean comments, spreading rumours, or making threatening or aggressive comments) that occurs through email, a chat room, instant messaging, a website (including blogs), or text messaging.
~ Hertz MF, David-Ferdon C. Electronic Media and Youth Violence: A CDC Issue Brief for Educators and Caregivers. Atlanta (GA): Centers for Disease Control; 2008.

Gangs

An organized group of adolescents and/or young adults who rely on group intimidation and violence, and commit criminal acts in order to gain power and recognition and/or control certain areas of unlawful activity

Youth gangs typically consist of young people who:

  • self-identify as a group (e.g. have a group name)
  • are generally perceived by others as a distinct group
  • are involved in a significant number of delinquent incidents that produce consistent negative responses from the community and/or law enforcement agencies

~ Youth Gangs in Canada: What Do We Know? Public Safety Canada, 2007.

School Violence

School violence is a subset of youth violence that occurs on school property, on the way to or from school or school-sponsored events, or during a school-sponsored event. A young person can be a victim, a perpetrator, or a witness of school violence

Youth Violence
Interpersonal violence is defined as "the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against another person or against a group or community that results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment, or deprivation". Research and programs addressing youth violence typically include persons between the ages of 10 and 24, although patterns of youth violence can begin in early childhood.

~ Dahlberg LL, Krug EG. Violence: a global public health problem. In: Krug EG, Dahlberg LL, Mercy JA, Zwi AB, Lozano R, editors. World report on violence and health. Geneva (Switzerland): World Health Organization; 2002. p. 1-21.

 

Research Terms

Best Practice

Best practices are interventions, programs/services, strategies, or policies which have demonstrated desired changes through the use of appropriate well documented research or evaluation methodologies. They have the ability to be replicated and the potential to be adapted and transferred. A best practice is one that is most suitable given the available evidence and particular situation or context. (Public Health Agency of Canada, Best Practices Portal).

Empirical Evidence/Data

Information that is acquired by observation or experimentation as a part of using scientific inquiry with an experiment that can be reproduced (i.e. observation is made, hypothesis is formed and tested). Results are then analyzed and conclusions are drawn.

Evidence

Evidence includes the best available research and evaluation information based on a systematic analysis of the effectiveness of an intervention, strategy or service and its use in order to produce the best outcome, result or effect. Evidence may be generated from a range of rigorously implemented and appropriate quantitative and/or qualitative research and evaluation methodologies (Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) Best Practice Portal, definition adapted from the National Health Services. Public Health Electronic Library, National Institute of Clinical Excellence, London: UK.

Fidelity

Refers to the idea of staying true to the original program design. While there can be room for adaptation of programs to suit a local community or populations' need, there are certain elements of programs that are often advisable not to deviate from (see What Works Wisconsin's Brief on Program Fidelity and Adaptation).

Insufficient Evidence

The available studies do not provide sufficient evidence to determine if the intervention is, or is not, effective. This does not mean that the intervention does not work. It means that additional research is required to determine whether or not the intervention is effective (Centre for Disease Control (CDC) Guide to Community Preventive Services).

Model Program or Practice

The program or practice meets the highest scientific standard for effectiveness (scientifically proven prevention and intervention programs), as evidenced in published evaluations and through experimental designs. It has a significant, sustained preventive or deterrent effect or reduction of problem behavior; the reduction of risk factors related to problem behavior; or the enhancement of protective factors related to problem behavior. It must also show that it has been replicated in multiple communities or settings (Blueprints for Violence Prevention, University of Colorado; Public Safety Canada, National Crime Prevention Centre).

Promising Program or Practice

Included are programs that meet scientific standards for effectiveness, but they do not meet all of the rigorous standards of model programs. They are recognized and encouraged with the caution that they be carefully evaluated. In general, when implemented with minimal fidelity these programs demonstrate promising (perhaps inconsistent) empirical findings using a reasonable conceptual framework and a limited evaluation design (single group pre- post-test) (Public Safety Canada, NCPC).

According to the University of Colorado's criteria, promising programs must have evidence from an experimental or two quasi-experimental designs, clear findings of positive impact, carefully defined goals, and sufficient resources to help users (Blueprints for Violence Prevention, University of Colorado).

Protective Factors

Help to reduce the chances of young people becoming violent. See the Youth Violence Prevention section for a summary of common protective factors.

Recommended

Strong or sufficient evidence that the intervention is effective. The categorization is based on several factors, such as study design, number of studies, and consistency of the effect across studies. This does not directly relate to the expected magnitude of benefits (Centre for Disease Control (CDC) Guide to Community Preventive Services).

Recommended Against

The systematic review of available studies provides strong or sufficient evidence that the intervention is harmful or not effective (Centre for Disease Control (CDC) Guide to Community Preventive Services).

Risk Factors

Increase the likelihood that a young person will become violent. See the Youth Violence Prevention section for a summary of common risk factors.

Systematic Review

A systematic review attempts to identify, appraise and synthesize all the empirical evidence that meets pre-specified eligibility criteria to answer a given research question. Researchers conducting systematic reviews use explicit methods aimed at minimizing bias, in order to produce more reliable findings that can be used to inform decision making (Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions).

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