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A Brief Intervention To Prevent Adolescent Dating Aggression Perpetration

NCJ Number
Date Published
September 2017
31 pages
This project examined the effectiveness and cost of the "Real Talk" brief motivational interview-style intervention for perpetrators of adolescent dating aggression (ADA).
Real Talk components are derived from two types of interventions, each of which has proven effective in promoting positive behaviors: 1) motivational interviewing, which pertains to a style of conversational interaction that motivates behavioral change; and 2) the methods of "Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment" (SBIRT) program endorsed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. In addition to relying on these features in the design of the Real Talk intervention, input was also received from Black/African-American, Hispanic/Latino, and multiracial youth. Before the Real Talk trial reviewed in this report, it was pilot-tested in 2012 in an urban, Safety Net, hospital emergency department to determine its feasibility and preliminary effectiveness. The current evaluation focused on testing the program's effectiveness at 3-month and 6-month intervals, using a sample of Black/African-American, Hispanic/Latino, and/or multiracial adolescents living in an urban area. Using an experimental, randomized controlled trial design, there were three main findings. First, youth in both the intervention and control groups improved in ADA-related knowledge and ADA perpetration from baseline to 6 months. Second, a subset in the intervention group showed statistically significant reductions in ADA. This did not happen with the control group in the perpetration ADA. Third, the low cost of the intervention suggests that it may be cost effective in reducing ADA perpetration. More research is needed in developing effective programs for youth not in traditional school settings, such as justice-involved youth. 1 figure, 1 table, and 29 references

Date Published: September 1, 2017