The publisher's final edited version of this article is available at Psychol Violence See other articles in PMC that cite the published article. Abstract Objective Teen dating violence is a serious public health problem.
A cluster-randomized trial was conducted to assess the efficacy of Teen Choices, a 3-session online program that delivers assessments and individualized guidance matched to dating history, dating violence experiences, and stage of readiness for using healthy relationship skills.
For high risk victims of dating violence, the program addresses readiness to keep oneself safe in relationships. Results The Teen Choices program was associated with significantly reduced odds of all four types of dating violence adjusted ORs ranging from. For three of the four violence outcomes, participants with a past-year history of that type of violence benefited significantly more from the intervention than students without a past-year history.
Conclusions The Teen Choices program provides an effective and practicable strategy for intervention for teen dating violence prevention. Most of the dating violence prevention programs described in the literature seek to increase awareness about teen dating violence, its warning signs, and services available, and to change gender stereotypes and other attitudes supporting violence against women.
Many also seek to change behavior by teaching relationship skills that are healthy alternatives to violence and abuse. While some programs are designed to be delivered to at-risk youth Wolfe et al. The purpose of the current study is to assess the efficacy of a universal dating violence prevention program delivered by computer. Three universal programs tested in large-scale cluster-randomized trials have found significant program effects on reducing dating violence.
The first, called Fourth R: Skills for Youth Relationships Wolfe et al. There are several challenges to delivering universal teen dating violence prevention programs in a school setting. First, it is difficult to ensure that programs are implemented fully and with fidelity Pettigrew et al. Programs that require professional interventionists or significant teacher training or class time, like the model programs described above, may be particularly difficult to deliver with fidelity.
In the current-day lives of health educators and other teachers, barriers to delivering evidence-based dating violence prevention programs include the demands of teaching to core standards and limited time and resources.
Second, universal programs are one-size-fits-all, neglecting individual differences in dating history and history of dating violence victimization and perpetration. Third, students can differ widely in their openness to messages about dating violence and healthy ways of relating.
First, the program is computerized and can be administered with fidelity, with little staff time and training. Second, the program assesses and delivers individualized feedback and guidance matched to the adolescent's dating history, history of dating violence victimization and perpetration, and other relevant characteristics. Third, the program is based on an evidence-based model of health behavior change, the Transtheoretical Model TTM. The model includes three additional dimensions central to change: More than 35 years of research on the TTM have identified particular principles and processes of change that work best in each stage to facilitate progress.
For most students, Teen Choices seeks to reduce risk for dating violence by facilitating progress through the stages of change for using five healthy relationship skills: For victims of dating violence experiencing fear and who screen positive on a risk assessment e. Are you afraid of what this person will do to you if you tell others about what's happening? The remainder of this paper describes a cluster-randomized trial assessing its efficacy.
Outcomes, assessed at 6 and 12 months follow-up, will be reported for the subsample of youth exposed to at least minimal risk for dating violence—that is, participants who had experienced or perpetrated emotional or physical dating violence in the year prior to the study, who were current daters at baseline, or who dated during follow-up.
The primary outcomes were emotional and physical dating violence victimization and perpetration; secondary outcomes were consistent use of healthy relationship skills and rejection of attitudes supporting dating violence. It was hypothesized that: Method Participants Twenty Rhode Island high schools agreed to participate in the study. The most similar schools were paired, and one school within each pair was randomly assigned to Intervention, and the other to Comparison.
Of 2, students invited by Intervention schools to participate, 2, were enrolled in the study; of 1, students invited by Comparison schools, 1, were enrolled. Reasons for nonparticipation at baseline are provided in the Participant Flow Diagram Figure 1. Study assessments were completed at baseline, 6 and 12 months follow-up. In the Intervention group, intervention sessions were completed at baseline, 1 and 2 months.
All assessment and intervention sessions were completed by computer at school, accompanied by verbatim audio. Headphones were provided to protect privacy.