Healthy Relationships
Violence Prevention Curriculum
The Manitoba Research Centre's Methodolgy Regarding Its Three-Year Evaluation of Healthy Relationships.

Approximately 1000 students in grades 7 through 9 will serve as participants. Participating schools have been selected by the Winnipeg No. 1 School District to ensure that the diversity of socioeconomic and cultural groups in the Division is represented. Informed consent will be requested from students in all participating grades, as well as from their parents, at the beginning of each project year and all students for whom consent has been obtained will participate in the research. Half the classes in an appropriate subject area (usually Family Life and Language Arts classes) for each grade of the participating schools will receive the dating violence prevention program selected for their grade level. The other half of the classes will serve as a control group whose attitudes, self-reported behaviour, and other responses will serve as a baseline against which the prevention program students' responses can be compared.

The design is quasi-experimental, with the "Healthy Relationships" dating violence prevention program as the "treatment" intervention. In year 1, classrooms at each grade level in each participating school will be randomly selected to receive the prevention program. In years 2 and 3, grade 7 classes will be randomly assigned to the dating violence prevention program and control conditions, but grade 8 and 9 classes will be chosen in such a way as to maximize the number of students in the prevention program who continue on to receive the program in the next grade. Due to naturally-occurring patterns of student movement between schools and changing class groupings from year to year within schools, this selection procedure will yield groups of students who receive the intervention in all three grades, in none of the grades, in grade 7, 8, or 9 only, and all combinations of two grades. We will be able to compare the impact of the three-year program to a single module delivered at grade 9 (or any other grade), identify a "critical" grade for intervention, if there is one, and make a number of other comparisons to investigate the extent and mechanisms of cumulative impact in the long-term program.

The following measures will be used:

Measures related to empowerment:
  1. Knowledge items based on those of the London Family Court Clinic Questionnaire on Violence in Relationships (Jaffe et al., 1992), modified to reflect relevant differences in the specific content of the prevention program at each grade level
  2. Skill items specific to the content at that grade level 3. Self-efficacy: a measure of specific self-efficacy developed for each grade with reference to the skills to be taught and practiced in the violence prevention programs at that grade level (cf., Spoth, Redmond, Haggerty, & Ward, 1995; Ozer & Bandura, 1990)
Measures related to affective self-evaluation:
  1. Attitudes Toward Dating Violence Scales (Byers, 1995)
  2. Culture-Free Self-Esteem Inventory, Form B (CF/SEI-2; Battle, 1991)
Measures related to internal standards:
  1. Relationship Assessment Scale (RAS; Hendrick, 1988)
  2. Behavioural Intent items from the London Family Court Clinic Questionnaire on Violence in Relationships (Jaffe et al., 1992)
Measures of conflict behaviour and dating violence:
  1. Revised Conflict Tactics Scales (CTS-R; Josephson & Check, 1990)
Measures related to context of dating violence:
  1. Background information: Gender, length of time at the school
  2. Relationship data: dating status, length of relationship, degree of involvement in dating relationships


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