Implementing Dating Violence Prevention Programs with Flexibility, Fidelity, and Sensitivity to Diversity: Lessons Learned from Expect Respect
Intimate partner violence is a significant risk to the mental and physical health of adolescents. In response to this concern, a number of adolescent dating violence prevention programs have been developed and disseminated. Although many of these programs have received empirical support, critics have pointed out a number of shortcomings, particularly a lack of attention to issues of diversity. These authors discuss how the effectiveness of dating violence prevention programs can be enhanced by increasing attention to diversity among participants, including the dimensions of ethnicity, gender, social class, culture, developmental level, and the unique needs of at-risk youth. The intervention they have chosen to implement in their own locality is Expect Respect, an ecologically informed, empirically supported, school-based program aimed at preventing teen dating and sexual violence and increasing healthy relationships. Using examples from their experience with Expect Respect, the authors propose practical strategies to increase the flexibility, creativity, and adaptability of dating violence prevention efforts. Modified Author Abstract.