In response to recent calls for programs that can prevent multiple types of youth violence, the current study examined whether Safe Dates, an evidence-based dating violence prevention program, was effective in preventing other forms of youth violence. Using data from the original Safe Dates randomized controlled trial, this study examined (1) the effectiveness of Safe Dates in preventing peer violence victimization and perpetration and school weapon carrying 1 year after the intervention phase was completed and (2) moderation of program effects by the sex or race/ethnicity of the adolescent. Ninety percent (n = 1,690) of the eighth and ninth graders who completed baseline questionnaires completed the 1-year follow-up assessment. The sample was 51 % female and 26 % minority (of whom 69 % was black and 31 % was of another minority race/ethnicity). There were no baseline treatment group differences in violence outcomes. Treatment condition was significantly associated with peer violence victimization and school weapon carrying at follow-up; there was 12 % less victimization and 31 % less weapon carrying among those exposed to Safe Dates than those among controls. Treatment condition was significantly associated with perpetration among the minority but not among white adolescents; there was 23 % less violence perpetration among minority adolescents exposed to Safe Dates than that among controls. The observed effect sizes were comparable with those of other universal school-based youth violence prevention programs. Implementing Safe Dates may be an efficient way of preventing multiple types of youth violence.
Prevention Science – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 6, 2014
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