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Reducing Youth Violence:

Lessons from the Boston Youth Survey

June 15, 2008
Renee M. Johnson, Deborah Azrael, Mary Vriniotis and David Hemenway (Harvard School of Public Health)

This brief reports on the results of the Boston Youth Survey 2006 (BYS), an in-school survey of Boston high school youth conducted biennially by the Harvard Youth Violence Prevention Center in collaboration with the
City of Boston. In Boston, as in many other cities, youth violence takes an unacceptably high toll. Reducing the burden of youth violence is a priority for the City’s policymakers, civic leaders, and residents. To date, however, little information has been available about the prevalence, antecedents and impacts of youth violence in Boston. The Boston Youth Survey (BYS) addresses this gap in knowledge. It is an in-school survey of Boston high school students conducted by the Harvard Youth Violence Prevention Research Center (HYVPC) in collaboration with the Mayor’s Office, the Boston Public Health Commission, and Boston Public Schools. This Policy Brief summarizes key findings from the 2006 BYS and discusses the practical and policy implications of those findings.

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