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Increase Seen in Multiple-Victim School-Related Homicide Rate

MONDAY, Jan. 28, 2019 -- During 2009 through 2018, multiple-victim school-associated homicide rates increased significantly, while single-victim homicide rates remained stable from 1994 through 2016, according to research published in the Jan. 25 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Kristin M. Holland, Ph.D., of the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control at the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues analyzed data from the CDC School-Associated Violent Death Surveillance System on 393 single-victim incidents during July 1994 through June 2016 and 38 multiple-victim incidents that involved 121 youth homicides during July 1994 through June 2018.

The researchers found that the average rate of single-victim school-associated homicides during July 1994 through June 2016 was 0.03 per 100,000 students. The average rate of multiple-victim school-associated homicides was 0.008 per 100,000 students during July 1994 through June 2017. Single-victim homicide rates declined from July 1994 to July 2000 and then increased significantly through June 2007. Significant fluctuation was seen in annual multiple-victim homicide victimization rates during the study period with a decline from July 1994 through June 2009 and then an increase through June 2018 likely due to eight incidents in July 2016 through June 2018. Many school-associated homicides, in particular single-victim homicide incidents, often took place in urban settings and often involved male, racial/ethnic-minority youth victims. Firearm-related injuries accounted for 62.8 and 95.0 percent of single-victim and multiple-victim homicides, respectively.

"Evidence-based youth violence prevention options exist, including strategies that promote connections between youths and caring adults, enhance problem-solving and coping skills, and reduce risk among youths who have been violent," the authors write. "A comprehensive violence prevention approach is important for reducing violence on and off school grounds."

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Posted: January 2019

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