Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work


Teen violence has become increasingly prevalent. There have been several incidents over the last few years of violence in schools that have received national attention. Shootings by teens in Paducah, Kentucky and Springfeld, Oregon, for example are incidents in which the culmination of many factors comes in to play. There is a concern about dealing with troubleed youth and how to help them deal effectively with anger and violence.

This study evaluated one program that directly addresses the issue of youth violence. The school is located in a metropolitan area and works in collaboration with the county to provide a violence intervention program for students. Participants in the therapeutic portion of the program have either committed at least two acts of violence in the past three months, or they have been court ordered through the juvenile justice system. The therapeutic portion of the program has a maximum of three students during each session. Out of the three students, one participated in the study. This participant was administered the Behavioral Assessment System for Children (BASC), a standardized test utilized to measure attitudes and behavior of adolescence. The BASC was administered at the completion of the intervention. The study findings were inconclusive.

There are implications for the practice of social work regarding violence intervention. There is still much work to be done to prevent and intervene with students in the academic setting. Zero tolerance is a step in the right direction, but enforcement of that policy along with intervention programs, with a community service component, are vital to addressing the issue. Youth violence is a multi-layered problem that affects many aspects of society. Social work at all levels from policy development to direct service working together can help address this growing problem.


SC 11.MSW.1999.Turgeon.L

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Social Work Commons