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Often youth programs do not focus explicitly on promoting healthy relationships, but they may include activities that practice pro-social behaviors and communication skills.

Adolescents who are maltreated and become involved in the child welfare system are at risk for being revictimized by romantic partners.[4] To better understand how to prevent revictimization among this high-risk group, NIJ funded a study to evaluate the effectiveness of two prevention curriculums.

The study focused on girls because they sometimes face more serious consequences of dating violence (e.g., injuries, pregnancy) than boys do.[5],[6] Participants included 176 adolescent girls involved in child welfare services.

Youth exposed to domestic violence are at increased risk to be both a victim and perpetrator of dating violence.[3] Yet we currently have no violence intervention protocols for this vulnerable group.

To help fill the gap, NIJ funded an effort to adapt the successes of an existing evidence-based program, Families for Safe Dates, so it would be applicable to teens who are exposed to domestic violence.

The researchers noted that the classroom-level intervention alone was not effective in improving these outcomes.

In addition, students in the school-level intervention were more likely to intend to intervene as bystanders if they witnessed abusive behavior between their peers.

[note 4] Foshee, Vangie A., Heath Luz Mc Naughton Reyes, Susan T.

Adolescence is a time to explore and develop emotional and social competence.

On one hand teens are learning to perceive, assess, and manage their own emotions; on the other hand they are engaged in building their capacity to be sensitive and effective in relating to others: friends, family, and adults in their lives, as well as girlfriends and boyfriends.

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