Dating Violence, Peer Violence Prevention
Teen Choices A Program for Healthy, Nonviolent Relationships is a 3-session computer tailored intervention that 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. Online sessions last 25-30 minutes.
The program has separate intervention tracks for high-risk daters, low-risk daters, high-risk nondaters, and low-risk nondaters. While daters are encouraged to develop and use healthy relationship skills in their dating relationships, nondaters are encouraged to use those skills in peer relationships, as peer relationships provide a foundation for later romantic relationships. For students involved in an unhealthy or unsafe dating relationship, there is a fifth intervention track focusing on keeping oneself safe in relationships.
For all students who have experienced dating or peer violence or abuse, the program encourages help-seeking. Student evaluations of the program were very positive. For example, 89% of students agreed that the program feedback was easy to understand, and 87% agreed that the program could help people develop healthier relationship (Levesque, Johnson, & Prochaska, 2016). In a cluster randomized trial (Levesque, Johnson, Welch, Prochaska, & Paiva, 2016) involving 3902 students from 20 high schools, the Teen Choices program was found effective in increasing use of healthy relationship skills and reducing dating and peer violence at 12 months follow-up. For example:
- Among daters, rates of dating violence perpetration were 17.3% for treatment vs. 25.2% for control
- Among high-risk daters, rates of dating violence perpetration were 35.8% for treatment vs. 55.3% for control
- Among nondaters, rates of peer violence perpetration were 18.2% for treatment and 28.9% for control