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Abstract

Purpose: To discuss the approach and recommendations related to the adoption of school based curriculum for violence prevention.

Findings: Preliminary assessments suggest that middle and high school youth experience a variety of forms of violence in social and dating relationships. Such experiences have negative academic, behavioral and emotional consequences.

Conclusions: The authors have clearly illuminated the need for addressing the phenomenon of dating violence. The field could benefit from more robust evidenced-based investigations that substantiate that interventions have an impact beyond attitudinal changes toward the behavior. Such academic endeavors will provide a platform to validate the inclusion of such information in a school based curriculum as act as a call for action for broad based interventions.

Key Take Away Points

1.) The prevalence of dating violence mandates interventions for both adolescent males and females.

2.) Current literature does not address long-term interventions with documented behavioral outcomes.

3.) Adoption of school based curricula on dating violence prevention can be advanced with empirical studies using evidence-based techniques.

Author Biography

Peggy B Smith, MA, PhD, Professor in the Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Psychology, and Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine and Director of the Population Program and Teen Clinics, is committed to the provision of quality mental and physical health care programs to inner city teens and actively conducts research and evaluation concerning a variety of adolescent issues. Dr. Smith is responsible for overall direction, evaluation, and funding of this countywide system of 9 comprehensive reproductive health programs for indigent teens. She has published over 130 articles on teenage sexuality and pregnancy, published 3 books on adolescent pregnancy and reproductive health and has been the Principal Investigator on numerous federal and philanthropic investigations. She is active in the development of health care public policy in Texas and has been appointed by Governors White, Clements, Richards, and Bush to chair and serve on a variety of state wide committees and health task forces. Dr. Smith has chaired the Children's Trust Fund of Texas; the Houston’s Collaborative for Children and has been on the Advisory Board of the Hogg Foundation and the Board of Directors of Episcopal Health Charities. She has won numerous awards for her leadership in advancing policy and programs that meet the health needs of community youth.

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A Response To:

The Need for School-Based Teen Dating Violence Prevention by Jeff R. Temple, Vi D. Le, Alexandra Muir, Laurie Goforth, and Amy L. McElhany.