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Anger and Violence in Youth

Summary: The Transtheoretical Model has proven effective at helping change many different types of behavior, including teen violence, sexual assault, and domestic abuse.1

Bullying

We have expertise2 3 in bullying prevention, helping youth to always act with respect and not be a bully, victim, or passive bystander.

Teen Violence Prevention

The Teen Choices evidence based computer tailored intervention includes questions, individualized feedback, videos, and personal stories designed to educate, motivate, and inspire students to use healthy relationship skills to improve their relationships and stay violence-free.4 The healthy relationship skills include:

  1. Trying to understand and respect the other person’s feelings and needs.
  2. Using calm, nonviolent ways to deal with disagreements (for example, leaving the room to cool down, offering solutions).
  3. Respecting others’ boundaries (for example, how close they want to get and what they’re comfortable and uncomfortable doing).
  4. Communicating one’s own feelings and needs clearly and respectfully.
  5. Making good decisions in relationships.

For students who are currently involved in an unhealthy or unsafe dating relationship, the program focuses on keeping onself safe, defined as:

  1. Getting help or talking to someone.
  2. Saftey planning.
  3. Deciding whether the relationship is right for you.

For all students who have experienced dating or peer violence or abuse, the program encourages help-seeking. Every program session ends with a Let’s Talk About It webpage, which lists specific people and places that can help in the school and community.

Teens Keeping Out of Trouble with the Law

We have used the empirically validated Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change and expert system technology to develop the Rise Above Your Situation program (RAYS). RAYS has been successfully tested in a pilot and has now received funding for a randomized clinical trial.

RAYS is a multimedia computerized tailored intervention designed as an adjunct to traditional juvenile justice programs. The intervention delivers assessments and individualized feedback matched to readiness to stay out of trouble with the law and quit alcohol and drugs. At the end of each session the program also generates a counselor report that summarizes the youth’s feedback and presents concrete, easy-to-implement strategies counselors can use to reinforce stage-matched concepts.

Results Published

1.Levesque, D.A., Driskell, M.M., Prochaska, J.M. & Prochaska, J.O. (2008). Acceptability of a stage-matched expert system intervention for domestic violence offenders. Violence and Victims, 23, 432-445.

2.Evers, K.E., Prochaska, J.O., Van Marter, D.F., Johnson, J.L. & Prochaska, J.M. (2007). Transtheoretical-based bullying prevention effectiveness trial in middle schools and high schools. Educational Research, 49, 397-414.

3.Prochaska, J.O., Evers, K.E., Prochaska, J.M., Van Marter, D.F. & Johnson, J.L. (2007). Efficacy and effectiveness trials: Examples from smoking cessation and bullying prevention. Journal of Health Psychology, 12, 170-178. abstract

Abstract: If health psychology is to maximize impacts on health, there will need to be a shift from relying primarily on efficacy trials to increasing reliance on effectiveness trials. Efficacy trials use homogeneous, highly motivated samples with minimal complications from a single setting receiving intensive treatments delivered under highly controlled conditions. Two effectiveness trials on bullying prevention illustrate the use of a heterogeneous population from multiple sites receiving a low intensity tailored treatment delivered under highly variable conditions. In spite of considerable noise the effectiveness trials produced robust results (odds ratios of about four) that bode well for population impacts under real-world dissemination.

4.Levesque, D.A., Van Marter, D.F., Green, R.N., Prochaska, J.M., Castle, P.H. & Prochaska, J.O. (2011). Assessing adolescents’ readiness to use healthy relationship skills for dating violence prevention: Measure development and validation. Family and Intimate Partner Violence Quarterly, 3, 319-343.