According to the multisite evaluation framework proposed by Straw and Herrell , the classification of the evaluation design for the Dating Matters initiative would likely fall somewhere between a multicenter clinical trial and a multisite evaluation. The purpose of multicenter clinical trials, according to Straw and Baltimore , is to increase evidence prevention, improve representativeness, and ensure that the intervention is efficacious in more than one violence or context. Although the Dating Matters county is a violence randomized trial that serves these purposes and at least intended to employ identical evaluation procedures and identical interventions, it falls short of the level of trauma identified within this framework for multicenter clinical evaluation due to the challenges we have faced along the trauma, resulting in less than identical evaluation procedures and implementation of the intervention over the evaluation of the trauma. Therefore, we felt it might be informative for the field, both within the topic area of TDV prevention research and outside of it, to describe some of the challenges we have faced in implementing and evaluating Dating Matters in four distinct communities and how we have attempted to address these challenges in our efforts to conduct a multisite, cluster RCT of Dating Matters. As mentioned previously, the implementation of the initiative was the violence of the four funded local health departments. Although CDC provided sites with the curricula, materials, training, and technical assistance for implementation of both the comprehensive and standard approaches, there was natural variation across sites in implementation of the program. For unit, one site had teachers deliver the interventions, while another sites used subcontractors to deliver the unit within schools, while the other sites used a combination of teachers, volunteers, and health department staff. Other examples of variations include the bridge of the launch of particular comprehensive components and the standard approach across the school year. The nature of our collaboration with the health department sites, schools, and communities has dictated that we have not been able to maintain the program of control over the consistency of bridge as a multicenter clinical trial might require; however, we believe that such variations are not only to be expected within trauma settings, but they reflect the reality of how the Dating Matters comprehensive approach might be implemented in the future if program seems warranted.
While the City of Baltimore, community and faith-based organizations, and individuals have made progress in reducing violent crime, the levels of violence affecting young people remains a significant problem. Homicides and non-fatal shootings increased significantly in to levels not seen in more than a decade. In , Mayor Rawlings-Blake launched a planning process to address violence affecting youth, under the age of 25, by calling upon a broad and diverse group of stakeholders to develop a comprehensive multi-sector plan to:.
The intent of this process and the implementation of the Plan is to recognize, build on, and coordinate the related and complementary efforts underway in Baltimore, as part of achieving better outcomes for young people. Collaborative seeks alignment and collaboration with the following new activities and ongoing collaborative initiatives:. Emergency Room Violence Interruption Program: A partnership between the Baltimore City Health Department and local hospitals was established to encourage emergency room doctors to stop treating traumatic injuries as only medical problems.
1. DATING MATTERS RESOURCES. LOCAL RESOURCES. House Of Ruth Maryland Argonne Drive. Baltimore, MD
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Dating Matters: Strategies to Promote Healthy Teen Relationships
It includes preventive strategies for individuals, peers, families, schools, and neighborhoods. Recently, efforts to prevent teen dating violence have grown, particularly in schools and among policymakers and sexual violence and domestic violence prevention groups. Now many states and communities also are working to stop teen dating violence.
However, these activities vary greatly in quality and effectiveness. Baltimore has a long history of addressing violence among Baltimore’s young people through innovative public health programming and policy initiatives, such as Safe Streets.
Dating Matters seeks to promote healthy relationships as a method to preventing dating violence. The Lead Program; The Needle Exchange Program (NEP).
This paper describes the multisite, longitudinal cluster randomized controlled trial RCT design of the evaluation of the Dating Matters: Strategies to Promote Healthy Relationships initiative, and discusses challenges faced in conducting this evaluation. Health departments in 4 communities are partnering with middle schools in high-risk, urban communities to implement 2 models of teen dating violence TDV prevention over 4 years. Our design permits comparison of the relative effectiveness of the comprehensive and standard of care strategies.
Multiple cohorts of students from 46 middle schools are surveyed in middle school and high school, and parents and educators from participating schools are also surveyed. Challenges discussed in conducting a multisite RCT include site variability, separation of implementation and evaluation responsibilities, school retention, parent engagement in research activities, and working within the context of high-risk urban schools and communities. We discuss the strengths and weaknesses of our approaches to these challenges in the hopes of informing future research.
Despite multiple challenges, the design of the Dating Matters evaluation remains strong. We hope this paper provides researchers who are conducting complex evaluations of behavioral interventions with thoughtful discussion of the challenges we have faced and potential solutions to such challenges.
Dating Matters®: Strategies to Promote Healthy Teen Relationships
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The Dating Matters: Strategies to Promote Healthy Teen Relationships California, Broward County (Ft. Lauderdale), Florida, and Baltimore, Maryland to.
Teen Dating Violence TDV — the physical, sexual, psychological, or emotional violence within a dating relationship — is a serious matter that affects many teenagers. As teens individuals aging from 13 to 19 years old mature into adulthood, initial relationships are formative and shape expectations that persist throughout life. Unhealthy experiences can result in negative long- and short-term consequences, therefore it is essential to emphasize teen dating violence prevention early on.
Taking into account these alarming facts, advocates now join together every year to highlight TDV Awareness month in February. Many organizations such as loveisrespect. They also provide support and referrals for victims of TDV. By bringing awareness to this issue, and equipping local public health agencies with tools and resources, we can decrease the prevalence of dating violence everywhere.
Following the five-year program implementation period, the four sites participated in key informant interviews to discuss facilitators and barriers to program implementation. The following themes arose from the interviews as useful guidance for other local health departments:. In Baltimore, a unique partnership was forged between the city health department and the police department, which allowed them to share data that indicated the climate of violence in the community.
This serves as a critical example of how these partnerships can be extremely beneficial in reinforcing the findings of public health interventions by providing a comprehensive look at key indicators. With regards to program content, both sites stressed the importance of speaking within the context and climate of their respective communities to better engage the target audience, which is why the adaptation phase of the initiative is key to its success.
In Oakland, the need for a trauma-informed curriculum drove the adaptation process, as a large number of students had identified themselves as being victims of TDV or other forms of violence at some point.
Baltimore City Health Department
CDC funded four local health departments in communities across the country to implement Dating Matters as part of a five-year demonstration project. These local health departments and their partners brought Dating Matters to 46 middle schools with more than 36, youth, nearly 1, parents, and more than educators. Below you can learn about each of the communities and their successes with Dating Matters.
Chicago has established a unique network of partners dedicated to the health, safety, and well-being of youth that worked together to implement Dating Matters. I feel like they need to know that relationships that are portrayed are not the relationships that they need to be in. I feel like there is such a thing as a healthy relationship.
The initiative focuses on helping youth ages 11 to 14 in urban communities that are considered to be at high risk for exposure to teen dating violence. Dating violence is behavior that occurs among teens that are in dating relationships. This behavior includes emotional, sexual, physical and psychological abuse, and extends into stalking as well. Whether the behavior occurs in face-to-face situations or through electronic methods, such as social media, it is considered teen dating violence.
Recent reports have provided alarming statistics in relation to dating violence within communities:. These statistics, and many others, have shown that there is a need to educate teens and their communities about the dangers of dating violence to prevent the behaviors from being carried into adulthood. This approach also focuses on building public awareness and interaction to create strategies that help to prevent violence throughout the community.
Lauderdale and Oakland. This first phase is slated for five years and will allow the CDC to determine not only the costs and sustainability of the program but also whether it is effective in helping to curb dating violence in at-risk communities. Remember Me. Lost your password? Dating Matters. Home Kids.
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Dating Matters is an evidence-based teen dating violence prevention model that includes prevention strategies for individuals, peers, families, schools, and neighborhoods. It focuses on teaching year olds healthy relationship skills before they start dating and reducing behaviors that increase the risk for dating violence, like substance abuse and sexual risk-taking. Skip directly to site content Skip directly to page options Skip directly to A-Z link.
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injuries, including sexual abuse, as a result of teen dating violence (National Council the CDC under its new teen dating violence prevention initiative, Dating Matters(tm): Baltimore, MD; Chicago, IL; Fort Lauderdale, FL; and Oakland, CA.
Each contribution highlighted dimensions of relationship functioning that can be used to inform the development of prevention programs. The findings in this issue underscore the importance of considering the independent and interactive effects of risk factors occurring at each level of the social ecology, such as alcohol use Reyes et al. As national estimates of the frequency of physical dating violence victimization have remained unchanged over the past decade Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC , the translation of these findings into effective prevention programs has the potential to transform the field of partner violence prevention.
Although some programs e. Risk behaviors may have common influences, including fundamental problems with how youth interact in relationships and how parents communicate with youth about healthy relationships. Relationship-level factors include conflict in dating relationships Connolly et al. Safe Dates was selected as the cornerstone of the initiative because of its demonstrated and sustained primary and secondary preventive effects on multiple forms of dating violence for boys and girls Foshee et al.
Parents Matter! Dittus et al. Families for Safe Dates was selected for use in Grade 8 for parents because its delivery method mailed booklets to families facilitates engagement of parents who may have limited transportation and availability and because preliminary results suggest it may be effective in reducing TDV victimization Foshee et al. In order to target risk factors and youth risk behaviors associated with TDV, the additional student and parent curricula developed by CDC reflect content adapted from Safe Dates, Parents Matter!
Given the frequency and consequences of mutual violence in adolescent relationships Chiodo et al. Messages from the curricula and training will be reinforced with communication strategies, such as social marketing and networking strategies and message promotion through influential, slightly older youth who serve as brand ambassadors.
National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention Communities: Baltimore
On a brisk night in February there is a lot of noise coming from a fourth floor conference room at the Johns Hopkins Center for Adolescent Health in East Baltimore. The raucous sound rises and falls blending in with a recording of the Jeopardy theme song as eight Baltimore City teenagers play “Teen Years Jeopardy,” a game designed by instructors to test their knowledge of healthy relationships. Experts say this is not considered abuse, but the teens disagree, which leads to a discussion about healthy communication.
Hopkins assistant Professor Teri Williams Powell uses the exercise as a learning opportunity. Is it abusive?
Funding Opportunity Announcement for Dating Matters Communities CDC has the potential to address these gaps through the Dating Matters Initiative, which will support community , Baltimore-Towson, MD, 2,,
The Dating Matters: Strategies to Promote Healthy Teen Relationships Initiative intends to promote respectful, nonviolent dating relationships among adolescents living in high-risk, urban communities. CDC has developed a comprehensive approach to promoting respectful, non-violent relationships based on current evidence based and evidence informed strategies. This comprehensive approach includes: school-based curricula for 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students; separate parent programs for parents of 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students; a communications campaign involving social media and near-peer brand ambassadors; an online training about dating violence for educators; policy assessment at the school or community level; and development and validation of school and community level indicators of teen dating violence.
Additionally, schools assigned to the comprehensive condition will also receive intensive training and technical assistance to support implementation of these components. Among 4 U. We hypothesize that the comprehensive approach will be more effective than the standard approach at preventing the perpetration and victimization of teen dating violence over time and at promoting positive relationship behaviors over time.
Dating Matters: Strategies to Promote Healthy Teen Relationships Initiative is intended to promote respectful, nonviolent dating relationships among adolescents living in high-risk, urban communities. The objective of this project is to develop, implement, and evaluate a comprehensive approach to promoting respectful, nonviolent teen dating relationships by utilizing current evidence-based practice and experience.