Dating violence prevention with at-risk youth: A controlled outcome evaluation.
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This study evaluated a community-based intervention to help at-risk teens develop healthy, nonabusive relationships with dating partners. Participants were 158 14-16-year-olds with histories of child maltreatment who were randomly assigned to a preventive intervention group or a no-treatment control group. They completed measures of abuse and victimization with dating partners, emotional distress, and healthy relationship skills at bimonthly intervals when dating someone. Intervention consisted of education about healthy and abusive relationships, conflict resolution and communication skills, and social action activities. Growth curve analyses showed that intervention was effective in reducing incidents of physical and emotional abuse and symptoms of emotional distress over-time. Findings support involvement of youths in reducing the cycle of violence as they initiate dating in midadolescence.
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