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Educating Teenagers about Healthy Relationships and Dating Violence: Evaluating a Prevention Program Educating Teenagers about Healthy Relationships and.

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Presentation on theme: "Educating Teenagers about Healthy Relationships and Dating Violence: Evaluating a Prevention Program Educating Teenagers about Healthy Relationships and."— Presentation transcript:

1 Educating Teenagers about Healthy Relationships and Dating Violence: Evaluating a Prevention Program Educating Teenagers about Healthy Relationships and Dating Violence: Evaluating a Prevention Program The Rural Justice Institute (RJI) at Alfred University is a collaborative enterprise consisting of faculty and staff representing a variety of disciplines. Members of the Institute strive to collaborate with local agencies and schools in order to increase the efficacy of current services, develop new initiatives to enhance the lives of troubled youth and their families, and reduce the incidence of juvenile delinquency in rural areas.Introduction Teen dating violence consists of physical, sexual, verbal or emotional abuse. Prevalence of teenage relationship violence ranges from 10 to 35% of teens depending on the definition used; and approximately 50% of teens report that they would not end a relationship because of a violent act (Close, 2005). Between 73 to 86% of teens reported that they would turn to friends for help if they were in an unhealthy relationship (Liz Claiborne Survey, 2005; Zwicker, 2002). Adolescents who engage in dating violence are likely to continue the pattern of abuse in future relationships (Kinsfogel & Grych, 2004).MethodParticipants 32 school sites in the Southern Tier of New York State 2598 students in 7 th through 12 th grade Middle school = 55.7%; High school = 44.3% Females = 48.8%; Males = 48.7%; Missing = 2.5%Program The training was conducted in two, 60 min. blocks and included: Descriptive statistics and a definition of teen dating violence The dynamics of abusive relationships and the cycle of abuse A ten minute video (middle and high school versions) depicting teens talking about healthy vs. abusive relationships The dynamics of healthy teen relationships Common reasons teen dating violence is hidden Warning signs of abuse and tips for dating safety How to assist yourself or a friend in an abusive relationship School, local, national and internet resources Pre and posttest surveys (pretest = 9 questions; posttest = 11 questions) were used to evaluate the training. Results Continued A multiple regression was then conducted on the change score between the pretest and posttest while controlling for sex, grade level, and victimization. The overall regression equation was statistically significant F(3, 2381)=11.236, p<.001). Middle school students (β=-.081, p=.001) and non-victims (β=-.116, p<.001) showed greater gains of knowledge than high school students or victims. However, the equation only explained 1.4% of the variance in scores. This suggests while the training may work best on middle school students and non-victims, these variables account for a very small portion of the total variance. Discussion / Conclusions This study adds to the research by providing regional prevalence rates for teen dating violence in the rural, primarily Caucasian Southern Tier of New York. The average age dating violence begins was during the middle school years, and the multiple regression results suggest that middle school may be the best time to begin dating violence discussion and prevention efforts. The results support the value of continuing domestic violence training initiatives in schools. This is a subject that is not commonly covered in the school health curriculum, but students overwhelmingly indicate that it is an important topic. Universal prevention for all teens seems to be important as victims and non-victims indicate that they are most likely to turn to their friends for help. If the peers know about dating violence, warning signs, and resources, they are in a better position to help. It is important to note that these results are focused on short-term changes and it would be beneficial for future research to determine if this program resulted in any long-term behavioral change. Schools afford access to the majority of teenagers in a community. Although this training is only 120 minutes in length, the results suggest that it is an effective way to increase knowledge and provide information about teen dating violence. Rochester 2012 This project was supported by Grant No DD-BXD-0104, awarded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Hannah Young Psy.D., Ellen Faherty Psy.D., and Laura Lehman M.A. Results Victim demographics 20.9% reported experiencing dating violence in a relationship (n=515). 58% females; 41% males The average age the abuse first started was 13.7 years old. The most common type of abuse teens endorsed was emotional abuse (65.5%), followed by verbal abuse (58.5%), physical abuse (38.0%), and sexual abuse (25.5%). When analyzing the number of abuses, 47% indicated they had experienced one type of abuse, 27.2% two abuses, 16.7% three abuses, and 9.1% of self- identified victims indicated they had experienced all four abuses. Help-seeking behavior 51.5% of the self-identified victims answered yes to the question Have you gone to anyone for help? while 48.6% have not sought any assistance. Victims and non- victims overwhelmingly indicate that they would turn to friends for help. Changes in Knowledge Paired samples t tests were conducted for the entire sample, by sex, and for middle and high school respondents. The results indicated that there was significant movement in the desired direction on the Likert scales for all nine of the pre/posttest questions for those in each of these groups. 93% of respondents reported that they agreed or somewhat agreed that the training was helpful for teenagers (posttest 10). 80% reported knowing the resources that were available on the posttest compared to 42% on the pretest. The pretest and posttest were scaled to obtain a total pretest score and a total posttest score (Cronbachs alpha =.692 pretest;.861for the posttest).


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