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Talk-Story: Perspectives of Children, Parents, and Community Leaders on Community Violence in Rural Hawaii


Dyanne D. Affonso, College of Pharmacy and Research Infrastructure Minority Institution-UHH, University of Hawai'i at Hilo, 60 Nowelo St. Suite 101, Hilo, HI 96720. E-mail:


ABSTRACT Purpose: To enhance our understanding of what community violence means to a multiethnic school community in rural Hawaii and obtain people's perspectives of how to deal with and prevent violence-related behaviors among children.

Design and sample: An exploratory design was used to collect qualitative data from a purposive sample of 150 key stakeholder participants, including 84 school children aged 5–10 years and 66 adults.

Measurement: Focus group methodology via Hawaiian island-style (culturally adapted techniques) of “talk-story” and a metaphor of introduction were used to elicit contextual data on the experiences, meanings, and perceptions of youth violence. Qualitative narrative analyses were used to analyze the data.

Results: Five higher order themes were found, including the need to: build a common understanding of what violence looks like; develop school-based identification, management, and prevention efforts; develop comprehensive school health services; develop state-level school health policies; and conduct outreach to make violence prevention a community affair.

Conclusion: The findings will inform the development of a school-based culturally adapted violence-prevention program led by teachers, in partnership with parents, students, and community-cultural leaders.

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