Youth violence perpetration : a systematic review of community-level protective factors and community resilience
This study aimed to (1) establish the conceptualization of youth violence perpetration within the literature; (2) explore identified community-level protective factors, (3) establish whether the interaction between community-level risk and protective factors are discussed, and (4) establish whether community-level protective factors are conceptualised within community resilience framework within the literature on youth violence. The research design of this study is a systematic review of literature focused on youth violence perpetration, community-level protective factors against perpetration of violence by youth, as well as community resilience. English-medium research literature published between Jan 1994 and Jan 2014 was reviewed. Databases that were searched are: Academic Search Premier, PsycArticles, MEDLINE, JSTOR, SocIndex, and SageOnline. Data extraction was done by two reviewers at three stages of review (abstract reading, title reading, and full-text reading), using three instruments for quality assessment across the three stages. Fifteen articles were deemed acceptable after review at the end of the three stages, achieving a threshold score of 50% or more, and these articles were used in the findings of this review. These primary studies were collated, systematically assessed, synthesised, and interpreted. Findings of this review indicate that youth violence perpetration is conceptualised within the research as various forms of violence committed by young people. The literature has suggested that youth violence perpetration may be as a result of a lack of social infrastructure and opportunities within impoverished communities. For this reason the provision of community resources, economic opportunity, educational and mentoring programmes, and subsequently the development of prosocial involvement/ interaction was suggested as strategies for intervention at a community level. Major findings of the study as well as the implications for practice and further research are discussed.