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Effects of the Moms and Teens for Safe Dates Program on Dating Abuse: a Conditional Process Analysis

NCJ Number
Prevention Science Volume: 17 Issue: 3 Dated: April 2016 Pages: 357-366
Date Published
April 2016
10 pages
"Moms and Teens for Safe Dates" (MTSD) is a dating abuse (DA) prevention program for teens exposed to domestic violence. In a randomized controlled trial (RCT), MTSD prevented certain types of DA victimization (psychological and physical) and perpetration (psychological and cyber) among teens with higher, but not lower, exposure to domestic violence. The current study built on these findings by using moderated mediation analysis to examine whether level of teen exposure to domestic violence conditioned the indirect effects of MTSD on these types of DA through targeted mediators.

MTSD consisted of six mailed activity booklets. Mothers who had been former victims of domestic violence delivered the program to their teens. Mother and teen pairs were recruited into the RCT through community advertising and completed baseline and 6-month follow-up interviews (N = 277 pairs). As expected, MTSD had significant favorable effects for teens with higher but not lower exposure to domestic violence on several mediators that guided program content, including teen conflict management skills and mother-perceived severity of DA, self-efficacy for enacting DA prevention efforts, and comfort in communicating with her teen. MTSD had significant main effects on other mediators including teen feeling of family closeness and cohesion and mother-perceived susceptibility of her teen to DA. As expected, all significant indirect effects of MTSD on DA outcomes through mediators were for teens with higher exposure to domestic violence. Findings have implications for developing DA victimization and perpetration prevention programs for teens with high exposure to domestic violence. (Publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: April 1, 2016