Safety

Driver Safety

Teen motor vehicle crashes can be prevented, and statistics indicate that the annual number of drivers aged 15 to 17 years involved in fatal crashes decreased 48 percent from 2005 to 2014 (Governors Highway Traffic Safety Association (GHSA), 2016). While this is promising, motor vehicle crashes continue to be the leading cause of death among teens; per mile driven, teen drivers ages 16 to 19 are nearly three times more likely than older drivers to be involved in a fatal crash (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), 2017).

Many factors influence teens' crash risk and likelihood for injury or death. These include driving ability, developmental factors, behavioral factors, personality factors, demographics, the perceived environment, and the driving environment (Shope & Bingham, 2008). For example, due to inexperience, teen drivers are more likely to take unnecessary risks including driving without a seatbelt, driving while distracted (e.g., texting, eating), and speeding. Situational factors such as driving at night, driving under the influence, and driving with other teenage passengers also place teens at higher risk (IIHS, 2017).2Prevention efforts to minimize the risk of deaths, injuries, and crashes related to teen driving need to be comprehensive and take into account the complex factors that influence driving. Research has indicated that strategies such as stronger seat belt laws and graduated driver licensing (GDL) have been successful in improving teen driver safety (Masten et. al., 2015).

View ReferencesReferences

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. (2009). Web-based injury statistics query and reporting system (WISQARS). Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars/index.html

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. (2010). Drivers Aged 16 or 17 Years Involved in Fatal Crashes—United States, 2004–2008. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), 59(41), 1329-1334. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5941a2.htm?s_cid=mm5941a2_e

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. (2017). Fatality Facts: Teenagers (Rep.). Retrieved May 30, 2018 from http://www.iihs.org/iihs/topics/t/teenagers/fatalityfacts/teenager

Fischer, P. (2016). Mission Not Accomplished: Teen Driver Safety, the Next Chapter (Rep.). Washington, DC: Governors Highway Satey Association. Retrieved from https://www.ghsa.org/sites/default/files/2016-12/FINAL_TeenReport16.pdf

Masten, S. V., Thomas, F. D., Korbelak, K. T., Peck, R. C., & Blomberg, R. D. (2015, November). Meta-analysis of graduated driver licensing laws. (Report No. DOT HS 812 211). Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Retrieved from https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.dot.gov/files/812211-metaanalysisgdlla...

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Office of Behavioral Safety Research. (2008). Teen driver crashes: A report to Congress. Washington, DC: Compton, R. P., & Ellison-Potter., P.

Shope, J. T., & Bingham, C. R. (2008).Teen driving: Motor-vehicle crashes and factors that contribute. American Journal of Prevention Medicine, 35(3S, S261-S271).

 

 

 

Dating Violence Prevention

Healthy relationships consist of trust, honesty, respect, equality, and compromise.1 Unfortunately, teen dating violence—the type of intimate partner violence that occurs between two young people who are, or who were once in, an intimate relationship—is a serious problem in the United States. A national survey found that ten percent of teens, female and male, had been the victims of physical dating violence within the past year2 and approximately 29 percent of adolescents reported being verbally or psychologically abused within the previous year.3

Teen dating violence can be any one, or a combination, of the following:

  • Physical. This includes pinching, hitting, shoving, or kicking.
  • Emotional. This involves threatening a partner or harming his or her sense of self-worth. Examples include name calling, controlling/jealous behaviors, consistent monitoring, shaming, bullying (online, texting, and in person), intentionally embarrassing him/her, keeping him/her away from friends and family.
  • Sexual. This is defined as forcing a partner to engage in a sex act when he or she does not or cannot consent.

It can negatively influence the development of healthy sexuality, intimacy, and identity as youth grow into adulthood4 and can increase the risk of physical injury, poor academic performance, binge drinking, suicide attempts, unhealthy sexual behaviors, substance abuse, negative body image and self-esteem, and violence in future relationships.5

Teen dating violence can be prevented, especially when there is a focus on reducing risk factors as well as fostering protective factors, and when teens are empowered through family, friends, and others (including role models such as teachers, coaches, mentors, and youth group leaders) to lead healthy lives and establish healthy relationships. It is important to create spaces, such as school communities, where the behavioral norms are not tolerant of abuse in dating relationships. The message must be clear that treating people in abusive ways will not be accepted, and policies must enforce this message to keep students safe.

1 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2011
2 CDC, 2010
3 Halpern, Oslak, Young, Waller, Markin, & Kupper, 2001
4 Foshee & Reyes, 2009
5 CDC, 2012

Preparedness & Recovery

Disasters are often unpredictable and can happen at any time and to anyone. They may be natural, man-made, or both. Disasters are defined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as an occurrence that has resulted in property damage, deaths, and/or injuries to a community,1 and  may include floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, tornados, fires, illnesses, chemical or radiation emergencies, and terrorist or bioterrorist attacks, among others.

At the end of the 20th century, disasters affected an estimated 66.5 million children each year world-wide and it is estimated that this number will continue to grow as a result of societal changes (e.g., conflicts, hunger) and climate changes.2 Around the world and in the U.S., disasters disproportionately affect poor populations—both youth3 and families—as a result of risk factors such as living in environmentally vulnerable locations, living in less stable housing, and having poor physical health.4 According to the 2010 U.S. Census, children under 18 made up 24 percent of the total U.S. population, but 35.5 percent of the people living in poverty resulting in a higher poverty rate for children under the age of 18 than any other age group.5  Further, research suggests that youth, specifically school-age youth, tend to be more severely affected by disasters than adults and may experience disasters differently due to age and other factors.6

Ensuring youth and their families know what to do in an emergency and that the unique needs and assets of youth are included in disaster preparedness, prevention, response, and recovery efforts is critical.7 While many individuals report that they are aware of disasters and their potential effects, fewer report that they have undertaken steps to plan for or prepare for disasters.8 Prevention and preparedness refer to the planning and actions that occur prior to a disaster. This may include preparing for public health threats, developing an emergency response plan, creating an emergency preparedness kit, or taking steps to address things that may cause a disaster. Response and recovery refer to actions that occur during and after disasters or emergencies. Responses to emergencies may include sheltering in place or evacuating, and recovery may include repairing damaged infrastructure, reuniting families, replacing supplies, addressing emotional responses and revising response plans. Youth-serving agencies can play an important role educating youth about disasters and teaching them coping mechanisms. Involving them in prevention, preparedness, recovery, and response efforts can help to ensure that youth, families, and communities are prepared and able to respond when faced with disasters.

1 FEMA, 1990
2 Penrose & Takaki, 2006
3 The target population for this topic is youth ages 10-24. In some cases research included in the topic focuses on a wider population including children under the age of 10.
4 Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress, n.d.
5 U.S. Bureau of the Census, 2011
6 Norris et al., 2002; Ronan, 2010
7 U.S. Department of Homeland Security, 2010
8 Redlener, Grant, Abramson, & Johnson, 2008; Ronan, 2010

National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS)

The National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS) began in 1994 and is a coalition of national organizations, business leaders, and federal agencies focused on youth engagement and the promotion of health and safety for youth.

Key components that support the structure of NOYS include the following

  • Board of directors
  • Meetings and communication
  • Working groups

The collaboration’s best practices include

School Climate

Many schools across the country work to (a) ensure that they promote a positive school climate in order to foster the success and emotional well-being of students, teachers, and staff and (b) address situations that exacerbate harmful behavior and diminish achievement. School climate refers to the quality and types of interactions that take place between and among young people and adults in a school. These interactions are framed by the culture and structure of the school, its composition, and its relationship to families, communities, and the state and have been found to affect student and school outcomes. All members of the school community have the ability to promote and sustain a positive school climate that facilitates student and school success. Although schools are in a unique position to reach out and address students’ interrelated needs, organizations in the community also play a large role in contributing to a positive school climate through partnerships with schools and the coordination of services that promote student success.

Violence Prevention

Youth violence is a significant problem that affects thousands of young people each day, and in turn, their families, schools, and communities.1 Youth violence and crime affect a community's economic health, as well as individuals' physical and mental health and well-being. Homicide is the third leading cause of death for youth in the United States.2 In 2016, more than 530,000 young people ages 10-24 were treated in emergency departments for injuries sustained from violence.3

Youth violence typically involves young people hurting other peers. It can take different forms. Examples include fights, bullying, threats with weapons, and gang-related violence. A young person can be involved with youth violence as a victim, offender, or witness.

Youth violence is preventable. To prevent and eliminate violence and improve youth well-being, communities should employ evidence-based, comprehensive approaches that address the multiple factors that impact violence, both factors that increase risk of violence and factors that buffer against risk and promote positive youth development and well-being.

Prevention, intervention, and treatment strategies that are trauma-informed are key. Many youth have experienced traumatic events, including physical, sexual, and emotional abuse; family and community violence; natural disasters; and the ongoing, cumulative impact of poverty, racism, and oppression. Repeated exposure to traumatic events increases the risk of youth violence. Organizational trauma-informed care that is grounded in an understanding of the causes and consequences of trauma can promote resilience and healing, while reducing youth violence.

Prevention cannot be accomplished by one sector alone. Justice, public health, education, health care (mental, behavioral, medical), government (local, state, and federal), social services, business, housing, media, and organizations that comprise the civil society sector, such as faith-based organizations, youth-serving organizations, foundations, and other non-governmental organizations all need to play a role. In addition, the voices of children, youth, and families who are most affected by violence must be front and center. Collectively, we can prevent and eliminate violence and improve well-being.

Resources

SAMHSA’s Concept of Trauma and Guidance for a Trauma-Informed Approach (PDF, 27 pages)
The purpose of this publication, developed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, is to develop a working concept of trauma and a trauma-informed approach, and to develop a shared understanding of these concepts that would be acceptable and appropriate across an array of service systems and stakeholder groups. This framework is for the behavioral health specialty sectors, but can be adapted to other sectors such as child welfare, education, criminal and juvenile justice, primary health care, and the military.

SAMHSA-HRSA Center for Integrated Health Solutions
This webpage, focused on trauma and trauma-informed approaches, is geared towards health, behavioral health and integrated care leadership, staff, and patients/consumers. The information and resources provided can be easily adapted to other groups and settings such as schools.

Shared Framework for Reducing Youth Violence and Promoting Well Being (PDF, 15 pages)
The Shared Framework draws upon previously developed frameworks and models and incorporates the research and programmatic evidence base that the federal, state, and local partners have built over three decades across multiple disciplines. This includes key elements of current and past initiatives—the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention, Defending Childhood, and the Community-based Violence Prevention program—and other federal youth violence work of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Administration for Children and Families, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

VetoViolence Portal
VetoViolence is CDC’s online source of free violence prevention trainings, tools, and resources.

Violence Reduction Response Center
This VRCC resource from the Bureau of Justice Assistance provides free, timely, direct access to expert staff who can connect users to the most relevant violent crime reduction training and technical assistance. Violence reduction professionals, law enforcement agencies, victims’ groups, and other practitioners in the field can use the VRRC as a one-stop shop to connect to resources that fit their unique needs.


1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2018a
2 CDC, 2018b
2 CDC, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, 2018

Trafficking Prevention

Trafficking of youth is a form of modern slavery within the United States. It is a crime involving the exploitation of U.S. citizen/resident or noncitizen youth for the purpose of compelled labor or a commercial sex act through the use of force, fraud, or coercion, regardless of whether the trafficker or the victim crossed state or international borders. If a person younger than 18 is induced to perform a commercial sex act, it is a crime regardless of whether there is force, fraud, or coercion.1

Members of the youth-serving community are in a unique position to recognize children who may be on the path to becoming victimized and to report suspicions to the appropriate authorities. Once victims are identified, housing, medical and mental health, immigration, food, income, employment authorization, and legal services may be available to assist them. Federal agencies and departments are working collaboratively to raise awareness about human trafficking and the impact on victims, reduce the prevalence of human trafficking, support victims, prosecute offenders, and provide communities with the capacity to respond to the problem.

1 [U.S.C. §7102(8)]

Project Youth Safety

Funded through a cooperative agreement from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), Project Youth Safety is a comprehensive multimedia, multicultural public awareness initiative promoting child and youth safety at the community level. Project Youth Safety independently focuses on six child/youth safety issues to create issue awareness among today’s youth.

Raising Concussion Awareness

This article provides a variety of information on concussions, including how they can occur and statistics about their prevalence. Symptoms and importance of getting proper medical care are also discussed.  

LGBT Youth at Risk: Education, Health and Safety – 2012 Policy Briefs

In 2010, the UCLA Center for the Study of Women (CSW) initiated a new series of publications to address policy issues in our mission areas of gender, sexuality, and women's issues.
CSW Policy Briefs comprise outstanding applied feminist scholarship by graduate students. For the 2012 set of briefs, we put out a call for policy recommendations in the area of “LGBT Youth At Risk: Education, Health and Safety.” CSW was pleased to receive submissions from graduate students in both the Luskin School of Public Affairs and the Fielding School of Public Health.