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Promoting healthy dating relationships

Date created
Author: Schwartz, C.
Author: Waddell, C.
Author: Barican, J.
Author: Gatto, S.
Background: Abuse in adolescent dating relationships is a far too common experience with approximately 10% of youth reporting being a victim of dating violence. Rates of emotional abuse are even higher with 29% of youth describing being insulted, swore at, or threatened with violence. These figures suggest the need for interventions aimed at preventing adolescent dating violence.Methods: We used systematic review methods to identify randomized control trials (RCTs) evaluating interventions designed to prevent adolescent dating violence. Applying our inclusion criteria, we accepted four RCTs.Results: The three programs — Fourth R, Safe Dates and Youth Relationships — led to significantly less violence perpetration. Safe Dates also resulted in less physical violence victimization while Youth Relationship led to less emotional abuse victimization. Only Ending Violence failed to reduce dating violence.Conclusions: Prevention programs can significantly reduce adolescent dating violence. Among them, the classroom-based programs, Fourth R, Safe Dates and Youth Relationships, stand out.
Published as
Schwartz, C., Waddell, C., Barican, J., Gray-Grant, D., Gatto. S., & Nightingale, L. (2013). Promoting healthy dating relationships. Children’s Mental Health Research Quarterly, 7(1), 1–16. Vancouver, BC: Children’s Health Policy Centre, Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University.
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