Program

Sep 15, 2011

OVERVIEW

The Fourth R is an interactive curriculum that integrates dating violence
prevention with regular health classes in attempt to reduce physical dating
violence (PDV). The curriculum is an adapted set of 21 lessons taught by
teachers with additional training in violence prevention. The lessons focus on
the dynamics of dating violence and healthy relationships. An experimental
evaluation found that PDV was significantly greater in the control group as
compared with the intervention group. Also, there was a significant sex-group
interaction impact showing that the intervention effect was greater in boys than
in girls.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

Target Population:
Fourteen- to fifteen-year-old public school students (Grade 9)

The Fourth R curriculum is a comprehensive, school-based program that stresses
the importance of healthy relationships. By increasing health-awareness
education, the program aims to decrease dating violence. The program
accomplishes this by using a combination of increased class time with more
teacher training and materials. Dating violence prevention is integrated with
core lessons about healthy relationships, sexual health, and substance use
prevention using interactive exercises.

The Fourth R program is integrated into existing Health and Physical Education
curriculum requirements. The 21-lesson curriculum is delivered by teachers with
specialization in health and physical education. The curriculum contains 3 units
containing seven 75-minute classes each: personal safety and injury prevention,
healthy growth and sexuality, and substance use and abuse. Teachers were given
additional training on dating violence and healthy relationships, parents were
given informational packets, and students were involved in student-led “safe
school committee.”

Costs apply to teacher training and intervention materials. As of July, 2011,
the Grade 9 Physical & Health Education Comprehensive Kit cost $695.00, the
Curriculum Kit cost $275.00 and the Education Lessons cost $175.00.

EVALUATION OF PROGRAM

Wolfe, D. A., Crooks, C., Jaffe, P., Chiodo, D., Hughes, R., Wllis, W., Stitt,
L., &Donner, A. (2009) A school-based program to prevent adolescent dating
violence: A cluster randomized trial. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med, 162,
692-699.

Evaluated population:
Participants included 1722 students aged 14 to 15 from 20 Southwestern Ontario
public schools. About 53 percent of the sample was female.

Approach: Eligible schools were stratified by size and location, then randomly assigned by
strata to intervention or control by a coin toss. Data were collected 2.5 years
after baseline to assess self-reported physical dating violence (PDV) levels.
Secondary outcomes measured were physical peer violence, substance use, and
condom use. Intervention schools used the 21-lesson-Fourth R curriculum class
covering the dynamics of dating violence and healthy relationships. The control
schools targeted similar objectives without training or materials.

Results: At follow up 2.5 years after baseline, the PDV levels were significantly higher
for students in control schools than for those in intervention schools.
Subgroup analyses revealed significant impacts of sex on outcomes: boys showed
more of an impact than girls. Secondary outcomes did not show significant
differences overall between groups. Once again an interaction showed a
significant difference in condom use for sexually active boys but not for
girls.

SOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION

References

Wolfe, D. A., Crooks, C., Jaffe, P., Chiodo, D., Hughes, R., Wllis, W., Stitt,
L., &Donner, A. (2009) A school-based program to prevent adolescent dating
violence: A cluster randomized trial. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med, 162,
692-699.

Program materials are available for purchase through Strategies for Healthy Youth Relationships: http://youthrelationships.org/curriculum_resources/gr9_10_physical_health.html

 

Contact Information

CAMH Centre for Prevention Science
100-100 Collip Circle
London, Ontario, Canada N6G 4X8
thefourthr@uwo.ca
519-585-5154

KEYWORDS:
Adolescents, High School, Males and Females (Co-ed), Multiracial, School-based,
Cost Information is Available, Conduct/Disruptive Disorders, Social Skills/Life
Skills, Dating Violence, Aggression, Bullying

Program information last updated on 09/15/11