Dating violence youth education package
The building‐based intervention included the use of temporary school‐based restraining orders, higher levels of faculty and security presence in areas identified through student mapping of safe/unsafe “hot spots,” and the use of posters to increase awareness and reporting of teen dating violence to school personnel.
Compared to a control group, the students who participated in the building-only interventions and those who experienced both the building interventions and the classroom interventions were more knowledgeable about the consequences of perpetrating teen dating violence, more likely to avoid areas where teen dating violence is likely to occur, and more likely to intervene as a bystander six months post intervention.
For example, higher levels of bonding to parents and enhanced social skills can protect girls against victimization.
Similarly, for boys, high levels of parental bonding have been found to be associated with less externalizing behavior, which in turn is associated with less teen dating violence victimization.
Researchers found that the rate of physical dating violence for a random sample of Canadian students who participated in the curriculum was significantly lower than the control group (9.8 percent versus 7.4 percent).
Significance wasn’t maintained for those who had been dating in the previous year.
An experimental study that randomly assigned 14- to 16-year-olds from child protective services to control or to the Youth Relationship Project curriculum found that the intervention was effective in reducing incidents of physical and emotional abuse and symptoms of emotional distress over time for the youth in the intervention.
A few programs frame the issue using a feminist perspective, while others use a more skills-based and gender-neutral approach.
Teen dating violence prevention programs tend to focus on attitudes about violence, gender stereotyping, conflict management, and problem-solving skills.
In addition to teaching relationship skills, prevention programs can focus on promoting protective factors—that is, characteristics of a teen’s environment that can support healthy development—and positive youth development.
These can also be fostered by a teen’s home and community.
The study looked at the effectiveness of a classroom curriculum, a school intervention at the building level, and a combination of the two.