U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

The Effects of Different Saturation Levels of the Shifting Boundaries Intervention on Preventing Adolescent Relationship Abuse and Sexual Harassment

NCJ Number
Journal of Experimental Criminology Volume: 13 Issue: 1 Dated: March 2017 Pages: 79-100
Date Published
March 2017
22 pages
Since prior research with the Shifting Boundaries (SB) prevention program suggests that it can prevent adolescent relationship abuse and sexual harassment, the current study assessed the relative impact of a combined set of SB classroom (SBC) and SB building (school-wide; SBS) interventions on adolescent relationship abuse and sexual harassment outcomes when the program is delivered to all three grades in a middle school (full saturation) compared to when only two or one of the three grades receive it.
The study randomly assigned 23 middle schools (1,764 students) in New York City to varying saturation levels of SB: 6th grade only; 6th and 7th grades; or 6th, 7th, and 8th grades. The study found that providing SB to only one grade level does just as well at preventing peer violence and adolescent relationship abuse as treating multiple grades; however, there was evidence that additional saturation led to sexual harassment reductions. Schools that delivered SB to 6th and 7th graders (compared to just 6th graders) reduced sexual harassment victimization 6 months post-treatment. These results largely support a minimalist approach, in that SB may be effective in preventing peer violence and adolescent relationship abuse outcomes by delivery to one grade level; however, more research is needed to continue exploring the potential benefits of a saturated delivery of SB across all grades, building on the current finding that 6th and 7th grade implementation of SB was more effective at reducing sexual harassment than 6th grade only implementation. (Publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: March 1, 2017