This review aims to summarise evidence on the effectiveness of interventions to prevent youth violence in Latin America.
A systematic search on 13 academic databases was conducted to locate studies evaluating a primary or secondary prevention intervention in Latin America. Studies could use any type of quantitative design to assess outcomes related to youth violence. A search of websites, references and citation searching was also carried out. The quality of each study was assessed.
Nine studies were identified. Most documented positive effects of the interventions on the perception of youth violence present in the community/school. Evidence was found of a reduction in homicides and juvenile crimes in three studies, two of which evaluated a community-based intervention. There were mixed results for the self-report of participation on violent acts. The majority of the studies lacked of a rigorous design.
Most of the interventions had some promising results, including the reduction of homicides within communities. Community-based programmes were the most consistent regarding an effectiveness to prevent violence. However, the evidence for Latin America is still scarce and relies on non-rigorously designed studies.
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