Date of Conferral





Public Health


Shari Jorissen


Youth violence in the Baton Rouge inner-city area continues to create heightened concerns for the communities as well as the financial and healthcare systems. Even though violence prevention programs are in place in the area, no decline has been recorded in those who are being affected by violence. Due to lack of research in this field, a need for a sound research study exists to understand how Youth Peace Olympics (YPO) community-based program may be related to changes in attitudes about aggression and violence. A correlational cross-sectional research design was used to evaluate participants' beliefs about aggression, measured using the Normative Beliefs about Aggression instrument by the organization at the beginning and end of the summer program, in addition to secondary data that was provided to me (n=50). Social cognitive theory and the social development model were used as the theoretical framework for the study. Results showed a statistically significant decrease in retaliation approval of aggression scores (pretest M = 2.24, posttest M = 1.91; t[49] = 4.07, p =.000) and marginal statistically significant decrease in general approval of aggression scores (pretest M = 1.48, posttest M = 1.31; t[49] = 1.96, p = .055). Age, gender, and ethnicity were not found to be related to pretest attitudes or pretest/posttest changes in attitudes regarding retaliation approval or general approval of aggression at statistically significant levels. The potential for positive social change is to provide researchers and community-level stakeholders with preliminary program evaluation data related to attitudes about aggression/violence approval.