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Lunch seminar: Micaela Sviatschi - Princeton University
Wednesday 06 March 2024, 01:00pm - 02:00pm

Can Attitudinal Changes Toward Reporting Curb Violence? An Experimental School Intervention in Peru


This paper explores a preventative approach to reduce youth violence in urban settings of developing countries. In the context of Peru, we examine a school-based intervention aimed at changing attitudes toward reporting violence, using a randomized control trial. The intervention trained students and key school personnel through classroom discussions, and an online platform for reporting and solving incidents using less punitive practices. Our findings, drawn from student survey data, school records, and police data, show a 50 percent decline in youth violent crime in treated schools and their surrounding areas. These effects primarily stem from changes in attitudes and behaviors concerning the reporting of violence. Using school records and data from the online platform, we find that students increase their reporting of violence, with most cases being successfully resolved in the schools. The drop in school violence also has beneficial long-term effects: there is a noticeable decrease in school dropout rates, higher test scores and a lower likelihood of school perpetrators engaging in adult criminal activities four years post-intervention. These results underscore the effectiveness of initiatives that encourage reporting of violence in school settings, in reducing crime, and fostering a safe environment without stigmatizing perpetrators.

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