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Dating Matters™: Strategies to Promote Healthy Teen Relationships


In the Spotlight
LHD HIV Spotlight: Teenagers

With support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), NACCHO is pleased to offer a funding opportunity for local health departments to identify and collect indicators of teen dating violence (TDV). Dating Matters™: Strategies to Promote Healthy Teen Relationships (Dating Matters), launched by CDC, is a comprehensive TDV prevention program that is currently being implemented in four high-risk urban communities in the United States. As part of the Dating Matters project, NACCHO and CDC will engage four additional communities to collect and aggregate indicator data for detecting the presence of TDV within a community.

The purpose of the Dating Matters Indicators Development Project is to begin to see how accurate TDV indicator data is at predicting TDV perpetration and victimization. The most optimal way to assess TDV prevalence is with self-report methodology, however, expense and limited manpower may preclude many communities from collecting self-report data. An indicator is a measure of interest used to indicate some concept, construct, or process that cannot be measured directly. TDV indicator data are summary statistics that can be used to quantify the incidence of TDV, correlates of TDV, and response to TDV in a given community.

NACCHO will make at least four (4) awards available to LHDs for a 2-year project to evaluate and identify new indicators for TDV. Each will receive up to $40,000, per year, to support project activities.

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Web-Conference: Dating Matters Indicators Development Project
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On September 24, 2014, NACCHO and CDC hosted an optional web-conference to discuss the Dating Matters Indicators Development Project funding opportunity and respond to questions. A description of Dating Matters: Strategies to Promote Healthy Teen Relationships, a definition of indicators, and an overview of the Request for Applications were provided.

To access the presentation slides, click here.

To access audio, click here.

 
Overview

Dating Matters™: Strategies to Promote Healthy Teen Relationships (DM), launched by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is a comprehensive teen dating violence program that promotes respectful, nonviolent dating relationships among youth in high-risk urban communities. Four local health departments that serve high-risk urban communities are implementing DM, which provides the opportunity to address gaps in research and practice by developing a comprehensive prevention program, developing an initiative that reflects the entire public health model, and engaging the local public health sector in teen dating violence prevention. 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.

As part of DM, NACCHO developed the DM Guide for Informing Policy, which was designed to provide information about how to inform policy with the best available evidence. The DM initiative's comprehensive approach to teen dating violence prevention includes a range of prevention strategies, including youth and parent education and skill-development programs, educator training, communication strategies, policy strategies, and evaluation and surveillance for individuals, peers, families, schools, and neighborhoods. Although informing policy development, implementation, and evaluation can be challenging, long-term work, policy interventions have the potential for sustained impact over time at a population level and are often an effective use of community resources. The policy process affords many opportunities to expand reach, to engage partners and other stakeholders to help raise awareness of teen dating violence, and to guide the articulation of broad, science-informed, mutual understanding of solutions throughout the community.

NACCHO is also involved in the DM Indicators Project, which focuses on collecting indicator data that can be used to detect the presence of teen dating violence within a community. The purpose of this project is to begin to see how accurate indicator data is at predicting teen dating violence perpetration and victimization. The most optimal way to assess teen dating violence prevalence is with self-report methodology, however, expense and limited manpower preclude many communities from collecting self-report data. Teen dating violence indicator data are summary statistics that can be used to quantify the incidence of teen dating violence, correlates of teen dating violence, and response to teen dating violence in a given community. This project focuses on the collection of data from the fields of education, healthcare, and judicial/law enforcement. To aid DM grantees in collecting indicator data, NACCHO developed an issue brief on interagency data sharing, titled "Connecting the Dots: A Data Sharing Framework for the Local Public Healthy System."