Parents Receive Pointed Message on Violence Prevention

In 1998 to 2001, the American Psychological Association (APA) created a public service violence prevention campaign called "ACT (Adults and Children Together) Against Violence." It focused on adults who care for and teach children from birth to age eight.

The program is designed to prevent violence by providing young children with positive role models and environments that teach nonviolent problem solving. It also was intended to raise awareness that early childhood represents an important time when children can be influenced toward either aggression or violence or cooperation and problem-solving.

Key Results

  • The ads featured the tag line "What a child learns about violence, a child learns for life." They were distributed to television stations throughout the country in March 2001.
  • The following month, the ads aired about 1,900 times, according to tracking done by the Advertising Council, a private, nonprofit organization of volunteers that creates public service advertising.
  • The ads ran in 80 percent of the country's top 30 media markets on programs such as "Nightline," "Ricki Lake," "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" and "Politically Incorrect."
  • The ads generated 2,253 calls to a toll-free-number, where callers could receive more information on violence prevention.
  • The project developed a website that contains information about violence prevention.
  • Project staff began a companion community-intervention program in Morris County, N.J. and Monterey, Calif. Developed by child-development and violence-prevention experts, the program is designed to make violence prevention a central and ongoing part of a community's violence prevention efforts.