The purpose of this study was to identify risk and protective factors for dating violence (DV) among young adults (ages 18-22) with a history of maltreatment and placement in foster care.
The goal of this research was to identify factors that ameliorated the effects of risk to reduce DV perpetration and victimization in young adulthood. Risk and protective factors were identified as part of the analysis of the Colorado-based Fostering Healthy Futures (FHF) program from 2002-2009, a positive youth development program for maltreated youth.
The three specific aims included:
- Describing the topography of DV and developing the measurement model;
- Using longitudinal data to examine hypothesized relationships among baseline risk factors, mediating risk and protective factors, and DV outcomes; and
- Examining whether the prevention program attenuated the impact of risk factors on DV victimization and perpetration.
The study was designed to extend a decade of research on the Fostering Healthy Futures (FHF) program, a positive youth development program for maltreated foster care youth in Colorado, by examining data collected from multiple sources at 3 earlier time points within 2002-2009 (from preadolescence through middle adolescence as part of a randomized controlled trial).
Each summer between 2002 and 2009, all 9-11-year-old children placed in foster care (during the preceding year) by participating departments of child welfare were recruited for the study and 91% of those eligible agreed to participate. Participants were assessed at baseline (ages 9-11), 6 months post-intervention (ages 10-13), and 2 years post-intervention (ages 12-15) with high retention rates.
This study collected a 4th wave of data, 6-8 years post-intervention to assess dating violence (DV) when participants were 18-22. Multi-informant data collected at earlier waves provided information about baseline risk factors as well as putative mediating factors.
The study also examined whether the FHF program buffered the impact of baseline risk on hypothesized mediating factors.
Following informed consent, interviews were conducted in person or by phone (if living out of the area). Participants were paid for completing the 3-4-hour interview. Because the interviews contained many sensitive questions, a list of community-based resources was provided after the interviews. All procedures were IRB approved.
The 215 respondents ages 18-22 had been a part of the original cohort of participants in the Fostering Healthy Futures (FHF) program conducted in Colorado during the summers of 2002-2009.
Longitudinal: Cohort / Event-based
Young adults between the ages of 18-22 who had been enrolled in the Fostering Healthy Futures (FHF) program during 2002-2009.
The 2,023 variables for 215 cases were categorized by:
- respondent demographics, including household situation, education, employment, finances, and transportation
- significant other (SO) demographics
- perpetration and victimization of dating violence in four different domains: sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional/verbal abuse, and relational aggression and threatening behavior
- psychological distress
- substance use
- social support
- safe dates: gender stereotypes, communication, dating aggression
- trauma symptoms and history
- sources and impact of dating violence information
- risk-taking behaviors
- peer behavior
- observations of neighborhood violence
- cell phone and internet use, and questions about cyber-bullying and cyber-victimization
- participation in community activities
215 participants were interviewed from 243 possible participants for this study for a response rate of 88.5%.
Several scales were used as a basis for questions in the survey:
- Social Support Scale
- Social Support Behaviors Scale
- Trauma Symptom Checklist for Children
- Composite International Diagnostic Interview-Substance Abuse Module (CIDI-SAM)
- Risk Behavior Questionnaire
- Safe Dates Evaluation Questionnaire
- Attitudes about Aggression in Dating Situations Scale
- Conflict in Adolescent Dating Relationships Inventory
- 'Things Your Friends Have Done' Measure (peer deviance)
- 'Things I Have Seen and Heard' Questionnaire (community violence)
- The Activity Scale
- Trauma History Questionnaire
- Adolescent Risk Behavior Survey
- Sources and Impact of Dating Violence Information Measure
- Internet Questionnaire
- K6 Scale