Fourth R: Skills for Youth Relationships

Categories

Categories associated with best practice:

  • Individual
  • PP-icon1
  • Teens (ages 13-18) icon
  • Canada
  • Preventing Violence Icon 1
  • Secondary School Icon 1

Overview

Objective: To reduce physical dating violence (PDV) through the implementation of an interactive curriculum that integrates dating violence prevention with lessons on healthy relationships, sexual health, and substance use. Population/Setting: Grade 9 health classes. A total of 1722 students aged 14-15 from 20 public schools (52.8% girls).
Methods: Cluster randomized trial with 2.5-year follow-up; pre-specified subgroup analyses by sex. The intervention was a 21-lesson curriculum delivered during 28 hours by teachers with additional training in the dynamics of dating violence and healthy relationships. Dating violence prevention was integrated with core lessons about healthy relationships, sexual health, and substance use prevention using interactive exercises. Relationship skills to promote safer decision-making with peers and dating partners were emphasized. Control schools targeted similar objectives without training or materials.
Key Results: The teaching of youths about healthy relationships as part of their required health curriculum reduced PDV 2.5 years later at a low per-student cost.

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