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Long-Term Impact of a Positive Youth Development Program on Dating Violence Outcomes During the Transition to Adulthood

The aim of this study of over 200 young adults, ages 18-22, is to understand the precursors, correlates and consequences of dating violence among young adults with a history of out-of-home placement.

Young adults with a history of maltreatment and foster care placement are at significant risk for dating violence (DV) perpetration and victimization. This study is examining the developmental trajectories associated with DV from pre-adolescence through young adulthood with a focus on the potential buffering impact of a prevention program. Participants include 215 young adults (ages 18-22) who were enrolled in a randomized controlled trial of a mentoring and skills group intervention for maltreated children in foster care when they were preadolescents.

Several analytic strategies are being used to:

  1. Describe the topography of DV
  2. Examine hypothesized relationships among baseline risk factors, mediating risk and protective factors, and DV outcomes
  3. Examine whether the prevention program attenuates the impact of risk factors on DV victimization and perpetration

The study's findings will have important implications for the prevention of DV among young adults at risk