Implementing a Targeted Teen Dating Abuse Prevention Program: Challenges and Successes Experienced by Expect Respect Facilitators

Ball, B.,
Holland, K. M.,
Marshall, K. J.,
Lippy, C.,
Jain, S.,
Souders, K.,
Westby, R. P.
Published: February, 2015
Journal Article
Journal Name: 
Journal of Adolescent Health
Volume: 56

Issue: 2, Supp. 2
Special Issue: Prevention of Teen Dating Violence

Expect Respect Support Groups (ERSGs) are a targeted 24-week dating abuse prevention program tailored to middle and high school students who have been exposed to violence. In this qualitative study, the authors examined facilitators’ experiences with program implementation to acquire a deeper understanding of factors that enhance or challenge implementation and program outcomes. They explored factors that enhance and impede the implementation of ERSGs on three levels: (1) the support of schools where the program is implemented; (2) the development of a productive and supportive group process; and (3) participant responsiveness based on their readiness to benefit from group and make changes in their lives. Interviews with ERSG facilitators at the midpoint and end of the school year demonstrated that the three levels are interrelated and intersect, and may impact participant outcomes. A positive school culture, school counselors’ awareness of the impact of violence and abuse on students’ lives, and their ability to identify at-risk students form the “foundation” for a successful implementation of ERSGs. Modified Author Abstract.

Correspondence to: Barbara Ball, Ph.D., SafePlace, P.O. Box 19454, Austin, TX 78760; E-mail:, Website:
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