With support from the National Institute of Justice, NORC at the Univeristy of Chicago is conducting a three-year randomized multi-level experiment to evaluate the effectiveness of a multi-level longitudinal approach to dating violence and sexual harassment (DV/H) prevention programming for public middle school students from New York City.
The long-term goal of this study is to help reduce and prevent DV/H and other forms of intimate violence and harassment among middle school students by employing the most rigorous methods to evaluate strategies for altering youth attitudes and norms supportive of violence.
Bruce Taylor’s earlier research regarding the Shifting Boundaries intervention (see Shifting Boundaries 2011 Final Report
for more details) has highlighted the importance of tailoring the curricula to be developmentally appropriate and of delivering the intervention to 8th grade students, who are influential leaders of the middle school student environment. Building on this earlier research, NORC is assessing the impact of saturating a middle school environment with information and behavioral strategies tailored to each grade level.
Further, through this research NORC is examining the impact of multiple doses of grade-differentiated curricula, following 6th graders through the 8th grade with a complete three-year intervention program compared to a 6th grade class that receives it only once, in its first year of middle school. Each of these objectives will be investigated in terms of key DV/H dating violence and sexual harassment outcomes (e.g., knowledge, attitudes, intended behavior, and violent behavior). The study design requires random assignment of schools to treatment condition (one of five conditions, including a control group), and random selection of classrooms within each school.