This is a lot of responsibility and it is also an amazing opportunity.Creating, influencing, and fostering teen dating violence prevention efforts like Dating Matters gives us the opportunity to make a positive impact today and years from now.
NORC enrolled a total of five middle school cohorts (students, parents, educators) in the evaluation study over the period 2012 to 2016.It includes multiple preventive strategies intended to influence teens, parents/caregivers, schools and neighborhoods/communities.The participation of schools serves as a cornerstone of the comprehensive approach that defines Dating Matters.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. sites, 44 schools will be randomly assigned to implement either the Dating Matters comprehensive approach or the "standard of care" approach, which we are operationalizing as Safe Dates, a an evidence based student curriculum for 8th graders.Additionally, schools assigned to the comprehensive condition will also receive intensive training and technical assistance to support implementation of these components. 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.
The evaluation examines the effectiveness of the Dating Matters® program — working with local health departments to lead their communities in implementing a comprehensive public health approach — to prevent teen dating violence before it starts.