Framing public policy and prevention of chronic violence in American youths.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Metaphors can both inspire and mislead the public. Current metaphors for youth violence are inconsistent with scientific evidence about how chronic violence develops and evoke inaccurate or harmful reactions. Popular, problematic metaphors include superpredator, quarantining the contagious, corrective surgery, man as computer, vaccine, and chronic disease. Four new metaphors that more accurately reflect the science of child development are proposed to shape the field. Preventive dentistry offers a lifelong system of universal, selected, and indicated intervention policies. Cardiovascular disease offers concepts of distal risk factors, proximal processes, equifinality and multifinality, and long-term prevention. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's public health model focuses on injury and the victim to elicit popular support. Public education for illiteracy offers concepts of long-term universal education coupled with specialized help for high-risk youths and goes beyond metaphor to represent a truly applicable framework. Research is proposed to test the scientific merit for and public receptivity to these metaphors.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Dodge, KA

Published Date

  • October 2008

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 63 / 7

Start / End Page

  • 573 - 590

PubMed ID

  • 18855489

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC2760968

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1935-990X

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0003-066X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1037/0003-066x.63.7.573


  • eng