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Dating Matters™: Strategies to Promote Healthy Teen Relationships


Overview

Dating Matters™: Strategies to Promote Healthy Teen Relationships (DM) was designed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to promote respectful, nonviolent dating relationships among youth in high-risk urban communities. Local public health departments will establish a comprehensive community-wide approach to teen dating violence (TDV) prevention that draws on current evidence-based practice and programs. The initiative will support communities as they implement prevention strategies in schools, with families, and in neighborhoods. Preventing teen dating violence requires a comprehensive approach involving diverse partnerships working across multiple levels of the social ecology to influence the norms and behaviors of individuals, families, peer groups, community and government organizations, neighborhoods, and the society at large.

NACCHO is involved in two components of DM:

  1. The DM Policy Package is designed to provide information about how to inform policy with the best available evidence. The package is divided into two parts: the Policy Inventory Guide and the Guide for Informing Policy. The Policy Inventory Guide is designed to (1) determine the extent to which state and local policies related to TDV include theory-based and evidence-informed policy elements and (2) provide a mechanism for tracking how TDV-related policies are translated into practice. The information gathered from the policy inventory can be used to identify and understand the strengths and weaknesses of existing state and local public organizational policies related to TDV. The Guide for Informing Policy provides (1) a description of the options for TDV prevention policy and (2) an overview of how local health departments and their partners can be involved in the policy-making process.
  1. The DM Indicators Project focuses on collecting indicator data that can be used to detect the presence of TDV within a community. In TDV research, self-report data is the gold-standard for assessing the prevalence of TDV within a community. However, not all communities have the ability to collect self-report data. In cases like this, indicators can serve as a rough estimate for the outcome of interest (e.g., TDV). This effort will focus on the collection of data from the fields of education (e.g., school board records), healthcare (e.g., hospital data), and judicial/law enforcement (e.g., juvenile justice records). NACCHO will engage in efforts to learn about potential barriers and facilitators to interagency sharing of indicator data for TDV.