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Evaluation of the Start Strong initiative: preventing teen dating violence and promoting healthy relationships among middle school students.
J Adolesc Health. 2015 Feb; 56(2 Suppl 2):S14-9.JA

Abstract

PURPOSE

This study reports on an independent evaluation of Start Strong: Building Healthy Teen Relationships, a multicomponent initiative targeting 11- to 14-year-olds. "Start Strong" was designed to focus on the developmental needs of middle school students and to enhance skills and attitudes consistent with promotion of healthy relationships and reduction of teen dating violence (TDV).

METHODS

The quasi-experimental evaluation design included data collection from four Start Strong schools and four comparison schools. Student surveys were collected at four waves of data at the beginning and the end of grades 7 and 8. Multilevel models used repeated observations nested within students who were, in turn, nested within schools to determine whether participation in Start Strong enhanced healthy skills and relationships and decreased TDV-related attitudes and behaviors.

RESULTS

Short-term effects from waves 1 to 2 were statistically significant for increased parent-child communication and boy/girlfriend relationship satisfaction and support and decreased gender stereotypes and attitudes supporting TDV. Findings for acceptance of TDV and gender stereotypes persisted longitudinally.

CONCLUSIONS

Results are promising and illustrate that a multicomponent, community-based initiative reduced risk factors predictive of TDV. Start Strong is innovative in its focus on early adolescence, which is a critical period in the transition to dating. The results inform future intervention efforts and underscore the need for further study of middle school students.

Authors+Show Affiliations

RTI International, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. Electronic address: shari@rti.org.RTI International, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.RTI International, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.RTI International, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.RTI International, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.RTI International, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.

Pub Type(s)

Evaluation Study
Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

25620448

Citation

Miller, Shari, et al. "Evaluation of the Start Strong Initiative: Preventing Teen Dating Violence and Promoting Healthy Relationships Among Middle School Students." The Journal of Adolescent Health : Official Publication of the Society for Adolescent Medicine, vol. 56, no. 2 Suppl 2, 2015, pp. S14-9.
Miller S, Williams J, Cutbush S, et al. Evaluation of the Start Strong initiative: preventing teen dating violence and promoting healthy relationships among middle school students. J Adolesc Health. 2015;56(2 Suppl 2):S14-9.
Miller, S., Williams, J., Cutbush, S., Gibbs, D., Clinton-Sherrod, M., & Jones, S. (2015). Evaluation of the Start Strong initiative: preventing teen dating violence and promoting healthy relationships among middle school students. The Journal of Adolescent Health : Official Publication of the Society for Adolescent Medicine, 56(2 Suppl 2), S14-9. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jadohealth.2014.11.003
Miller S, et al. Evaluation of the Start Strong Initiative: Preventing Teen Dating Violence and Promoting Healthy Relationships Among Middle School Students. J Adolesc Health. 2015;56(2 Suppl 2):S14-9. PubMed PMID: 25620448.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Evaluation of the Start Strong initiative: preventing teen dating violence and promoting healthy relationships among middle school students. AU - Miller,Shari, AU - Williams,Jason, AU - Cutbush,Stacey, AU - Gibbs,Deborah, AU - Clinton-Sherrod,Monique, AU - Jones,Sarah, PY - 2014/03/06/received PY - 2014/11/04/revised PY - 2014/11/06/accepted PY - 2015/1/27/entrez PY - 2015/1/27/pubmed PY - 2015/8/8/medline KW - Dating KW - Dating abuse KW - Early adolescence KW - Prevention KW - Teen dating violence SP - S14 EP - 9 JF - The Journal of adolescent health : official publication of the Society for Adolescent Medicine JO - J Adolesc Health VL - 56 IS - 2 Suppl 2 N2 - PURPOSE: This study reports on an independent evaluation of Start Strong: Building Healthy Teen Relationships, a multicomponent initiative targeting 11- to 14-year-olds. "Start Strong" was designed to focus on the developmental needs of middle school students and to enhance skills and attitudes consistent with promotion of healthy relationships and reduction of teen dating violence (TDV). METHODS: The quasi-experimental evaluation design included data collection from four Start Strong schools and four comparison schools. Student surveys were collected at four waves of data at the beginning and the end of grades 7 and 8. Multilevel models used repeated observations nested within students who were, in turn, nested within schools to determine whether participation in Start Strong enhanced healthy skills and relationships and decreased TDV-related attitudes and behaviors. RESULTS: Short-term effects from waves 1 to 2 were statistically significant for increased parent-child communication and boy/girlfriend relationship satisfaction and support and decreased gender stereotypes and attitudes supporting TDV. Findings for acceptance of TDV and gender stereotypes persisted longitudinally. CONCLUSIONS: Results are promising and illustrate that a multicomponent, community-based initiative reduced risk factors predictive of TDV. Start Strong is innovative in its focus on early adolescence, which is a critical period in the transition to dating. The results inform future intervention efforts and underscore the need for further study of middle school students. SN - 1879-1972 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/25620448/Evaluation_of_the_Start_Strong_initiative:_preventing_teen_dating_violence_and_promoting_healthy_relationships_among_middle_school_students_ L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S1054-139X(14)00712-5 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -