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Community Engagement & Service

COCES Features

Teen Dating
The Youth Capabilities and Leadership Action to
Promote Healthy Relationships Project

About 1 in 3 youth and young adults has experienced some form of teen dating violence, including psychological and physical violence.  In South Carolina high schools in 2011, about 1 in 8 girls and 1 in 10 boys were hit, slapped, or physically hurt on purpose by a boyfriend or girlfriend.

Dr. Whitaker and Partners Dr. Whitaker and community partners at the Verizon Foundation grant award presentation ceremony, which took place at the December 16 Carolina game. Left to right: David Riegel–Irmo High School Principal; Dr. Pippin Whitaker–Assistant Professor, College of Social Work; Michael Harris–Chief Student Services Officer for Lexington/Richland School District.

In 2012, Dr. Whitaker launched “Youth Capabilities and Leadership Action to Promote Healthy Relationships (Y-CLAP-HR) Phase I (formerly Y-CLAP-TDV). The project is in collaboration with community partners at Irmo High School and School District Five of Lexington and Richland Counties. The goal of Phase I was to use focus groups and interviews listen carefully to youth, parents, school personnel, and district and state officials to gain a better understanding of multi-level prevention needs in the district. Phase I results showed that youth want safe, confidential, and ongoing support to build healthy relationships.

Based on these results, and working with an emerging opportunity at the high school, Y-CLAP-HR Phase II is developing an iPad App that will be the basis for a cost-efficient youth-driven information system to promote understanding of healthy relationships, promote healthy relationship strategies, and ultimately contribute to dating violence prevention. Verizon Foundation has awarded Dr. Whitaker a 2-year grant for Phase II. This project is deepening the listening process to explore reactions to the app and will also involve a pilot test with high school students later in 2014.

 

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