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Long-Term Impact of a Positive Youth Development Program on Dating Violence Outcomes During the Transition to Adulthood

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2013, $440,642)

The purpose of this research project is to examine the developmental trajectories associated with dating violence (DV) from pre-adolescence through young adulthood within a high risk population (youth with a history of maltreatment and foster care) with a focus on the potential buffering impact of a prevention program on DV outcomes. The study's findings will have important implications for the prevention of DV among young people at high-risk for criminal justice involvement. Participants will include 250 young adults (ages 18-22) who were enrolled in a randomized controlled trial (RCT) of a mentoring and skills group intervention for maltreated children in foster care when they were preadolescents. The proposed sample is gender balanced (49% female) and has a good racial/ethnic distribution: 44% Hispanic, 46% Caucasian, and 27% African American (non-exclusive). This study builds upon a 10-year RCT of a prevention program that has demonstrated positive impacts on targeted risk and protective factors for DV. Each summer between 2002 and 2009, all 9-11-year-old children placed in foster care (during the preceding year) by participating departments of child welfare were recruited for the study and 91% of those eligible agreed to participate. Participants were assessed at baseline (ages 9-11), 6 months post-intervention (ages 10-13), and 2 years post-intervention (ages 12-15) with high retention rates. This study will collect a 4th wave of data, 6-8 years post-intervention to assess DV when participants are 18-22. Multi-informant data collected at earlier waves will provide information about baseline risk factors as well as putative mediating factors. The proposed T4 interview will include measures of DV and concurrent risk and protective factors. An innovative measure of DV will include the assessment of physical, sexual, and psychological DV perpetration and victimization, partner attributes, context of DV, and consequences. Several analytic strategies, including regression, factor analyses, and path analyses will be used to: (1) Describe the topography of DV and develop the measurement model; (2) Use longitudinal data to examine hypothesized relationships among baseline risk factors, mediating risk and protective factors, and DV outcomes; (3) Examine whether the prevention program attenuates the impact of risk factors on DV victimization and perpetration, as hypothesized. ca/ncf
Date Created: September 11, 2013