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The Adaptation and Evaluation of the Fourth R Youth Dating Violence Curriculum for Indigenous Communities

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $1,099,393)

Exposure to youth dating violence (YDV) is a significant social problem in the United States; rates of YDV among American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities are twice as high as in other populations, in part due to intergenerational trauma and disintegration of social structures and support systems stemming from colonialism. Fourth R is an innovative, universal prevention approach to educating adolescents about safety and risk in a school setting. The goal of the proposed five-year study is to adapt and implement the Fourth R curriculum for Indigenous populations, evaluate the effectiveness of the program, and replicate it in partnership with three tribal schools for (a total of) seven cohorts of 9th-grade classes using a cluster randomized controlled trial, with the control group being offered the intervention in the 10th grade once the testing period has concluded.

ICF has partnered with Western University and the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians (MBCI) to adapt and implement Fourth R in their Choctaw Tribal School System. Based on the pilot findings, ICF will finalize partnerships with two other Tribal Nations interested in the Fourth R curriculum. The proposed study includes two phases: 1) adapt and pilot the Fourth R to meet the needs of Indigenous students and schools and 2) implement the Fourth R with 9th- and 10th-grade students, conduct a process evaluation to examine whether the program was implemented as intended, and conduct an outcome evaluation using a cluster-randomized controlled trial design to examine program effectiveness.

Data collected through surveys of students, teachers, and the tribal advisory group (TAG) will be analyzed using descriptive statistics and hierarchical linear modeling to assess student outcomes and program impact. Interviews and focus groups with students, teachers, and tribal advisory group members will explore the adaptation, pilot, and implementation process with a focus on fidelity to the model, impacts on students, sustainability, and recommendations for improvement.

ICF and the three tribal partners will disseminate findings to Indigenous communities and the victim services field through a final report, two fact sheets or infographics, blog posts, podcasts, webinars, conference presentations, and peer-reviewed journal articles. In addition, de-identified survey, interview, and focus group data will be archived at the NACJD. CA/NCF

Date Created: September 16, 2022