Center Overview


Mission Statement

The Southern California Academic Center of Excellence on Youth Violence Prevention is committed to the development, implementation, evaluation, and dissemination of youth violence prevention programs and strategies that acknowledge the diversity of causes and solutions to preventing youth violence. We are particularly interested in programs that address the unique needs and circumstances of Latino youth, and how ethnicity and culture influence prevention programming. We believe that solutions must come from partnerships between researchers and practitioners that are grounded in both research and community life.

Center Overview

The Southern California Academic Center of Excellence on Youth Violence Prevention is one of eight Academic Centers of Excellence funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Established in 2001, the Center is housed at the University of California Riverside and operates as a consortium of faculty and community partners from the region. Please visit our faculty and staff page for more information on faculty and community participants, their affiliations, research, and practice interests. Each of our partners is highly committed to the Center's mission and has extensive experience in the area of youth violence prevention in ethnically and culturally diverse communities.


Many significant challenges face youth violence prevention science and practice in the 21st century. Our primary objectives reflect what the core faculty and partners in this collaborative effort believe are among the most significant of these challenges.

  • Improvement of youth violence prevention interventions by building a theoretical framework that links risk prevention and health development;
  • Development of enhanced prevention programs that incorporate themes from this theoretical framework, as well as sensitivity to cultural issues;
  • Development of a research agenda that incorporates both efficacy trials of innovative strategies and effectiveness studies in real-world settings;
  • Engagement of health care providers in violence assessment referral;
  • Dissemination of knowledge about youth violence prevention to researchers, service providers, and policy makers;
  • Engagement of the local community in development of a strategic response plan.

These objectives will remain in place and serve as broad guidelines for our future work. However, in 2005, we began to narrow our efforts with an overarching goal to develop and evaluate a comprehensive strategy to prevent youth violence among low-income Latino and immigrant youth in our three partner communities in southern California. Our four main objectives are as follows:

  • Community mobilization and support - to mobilize selected communities in southern California to enhance youth violence surveillance, develop strategic response plans, and carry out specific actions to address youth violence;
  • Youth and parent education training - to increase parent and youth knowledge, skills, and competencies focused on positive development and family strengths for risk prevention within a defined economic and cultural context;
  • Theory development and testing - to improve youth violence prevention knowledge by continuing to develop and test an integrated developmental-ecological framework that links prevention of youth violence risk with promotion of healthy development across contexts, and that engages youth and families in the selection of preventive interventions culminating in efficacy and effectiveness trials; and
  • Knowledge transfer and dissemination - to enhance knowledge about youth violence prevention dissemination and to provide learning opportunities for students, researchers, service providers, and policy makers.

More Information

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

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Campus StatusMaps and Directions

Department Information

Department of Psychology

Tel: (951) 827-5243
Fax: (951) 827-3985
E-mail: psycdf@ucr.edu

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