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New Health Ed Program Reduces Dating Violence

New Health Ed Program Reduces Dating Violence

A new health education program significantly reduces dating violence behaviors among high school youth.

Researchers from The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston have shown that the “It’s Your Game…Keep it Real (IYG)” intervention is particularly effective in reducing dating violence behaviors among minority youth.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 10 percent of high school youth are victims of physical dating violence and other studies suggest that more than 20 percent are victims of emotional dating violence.

Previous studies have shown that adolescent dating violence begins in middle school and that ethnic minority students are disproportionately affected by this form of violence.

As background, researchers looked at four areas of dating violence: physical victimization, emotional victimization, physical perpetration, and emotional perpetration.

“In the study, we found a significant decrease in physical dating violence victimization, emotional dating violence victimization, and emotional dating violence perpetration by the time students reached ninth grade,” said Melissa Peskin, Ph.D., the lead author.

While there was no change in physical dating violence perpetration, Peskin believes that is because IYG did not contain as much content related to managing emotions and coping.

A new version of the program that includes information and skills training on these topics is currently being tested in schools.

“The foundation of looking at adolescent sexual health is helping young people understand what healthy relationships look like,” said Peskin.

“Unfortunately, most schools do not implement evidence-based dating violence curricula.”

The study, recently published in the American Journal of Public Health, examined 766 students in 10 middle schools in a large, urban school district in southeast Texas.

Forty-four percent of the students were African-American and 42 percent were Hispanic.

IYG had previously shown to be effective in delaying sexual initiation and reducing sexual risk behavior. The program includes both classroom and computer-based activities and is geared toward middle school students.

The lessons include identifying the characteristics of healthy and unhealthy relationships, skills training for evaluating relationships, strategies for reducing peer pressure, obtaining social support, setting personal limits, and respecting others’ limits.

“‘It’s Your Game’ is already being widely disseminated for teen pregnancy prevention, so it’s another bonus that the program reduces dating violence as well,” said Peskin.

Source: University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

New Health Ed Program Reduces Dating Violence

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). New Health Ed Program Reduces Dating Violence. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 16, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2014/07/11/new-health-ed-program-reduces-dating-violence/72350.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.