Document Type

Capstone Project (Open Access)

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.)


Human Development & Family Science


This capstone project focuses on protective factors for non-violence among adolescent students at a continuation high school. The circumstances that have led students to be at this particular continuation school include things such as being suspended or on the path to suspension, behavioral issues, GPA or credit deficiencies (not on track to graduate in a traditional high school setting), and referrals from parents, teachers, counselors, etc. This workshop was intended to address the growing problem of violence between students. Several students at the continuation high school are involved in opposing gangs, which causes strife on campus and leads to physical altercations between students. The growing concern about violence at this school demonstrates a need for a workshop focused on protective factors for non-violence, which will provide students with skills that will inherently promote non-violence. In this workshop, I focused on four main concepts: empathy, self-esteem, and positive adult and peer relationships. Through building empathy students will learn to understand outside perspectives. When adolescents have positive self-esteem, it will allow students to make conscious moral choices when handling conflict. Creating positive adult and peer relationships will guide students to have relationships they can trust and rely on. Each of these skills has been connected to an adolescent’s tendency to engage in violence; as the protective factors increase, the likelihood of violent behaviors decreases, and vice versa (Losel & Farrington, 2012). The two-part workshop on non-violent protective factors took place in a high school English class at a continuation high school in Seaside, California.