Division of Educational and Child Psychology (BPS) Conference

9th-11th January 2013 in Bristol

Symposium: Preventing Domestic Abuse: Working with Children and Young People

In the UK, high rates of abuse in teenage dating relationships have been found, highlighting the significance of the issue in the lives of many young people. In the UK, a number of programmes have been developed, yet, few have been formally evaluated. The first study we report on attempted to improve on previous UK-based studies and evaluate a schools-based domestic abuse prevention education programme, utilising an experimental design, with pre and post-test measures administered to those in treatment and control conditions. The second paper will examine the impact of an innovative serious game-based primary intervention for adolescent dating violence. This paper highlights the potential of using technology in the classroom as a means of educating adolescents about sensitive topics. Preventative programmes need to be delivered in ways that are responsive to young people’s needs and perspectives which highlights the importance of examining young people’s views of the problem. The third paper will examine the construction of attitudes towards dating violence in a Northern European adolescent sample. Finally, one of the strengths of the UK evaluations has been that qualitative methods are used to explore young people’s perceptions of the programmes. These evaluations have highlighted some of the problems around service delivery and suggestions for good practice, such as what should be taught (i.e. programme content), how it should be taught (e.g. teaching methods), and who should deliver it (e.g. teachers or external organisations). The fourth and final paper will provide a review of this small but growing evidence base and will then add to this literature by describing the findings from focus groups conducted with young people who have been exposed to one such programme.

Four papers (click to access abstracts):

Evaluating the effectiveness of domestic abuse prevention education: Are certain children more or less receptive to the messages conveyed?

Evaluation of ‘Green Acres High: a serious game-based primary intervention for adolescent dating violence: preliminary findings

Northern European adolescents attitudes towards dating violence

Good practice in domestic violence prevention education