Statement of purpose We provide thorough description of Teen Dating Violence (TDV) policies’ variation to position future research efforts to understand what is driving policy variation and how policy components impact outcomes.
Methods/Approach We developed and applied an abstraction form to measure 7 TDV policy components: (1) definitions, (2) requirements for district policy, (3) guidelines for review, (4) district policy content, (5) student dating violence curricula, (6) staff dating violence training, and (7) protections for victims. Descriptive figures and statistics were generated on all policy scores, and on individual policy score changes.
Results Krippendorff’s alpha for inter-rater reliability was 0.88. Sixty-one related policies of 30 states were identified and abstracted. Thirty of these were original policies, 31 were revisions of previous policies enacted by 17 states. Out of a possible 63, the mean score of original policies was 15.4 (0.86 SE), median 16.1, range 4.0- 23.0. Of the 31 policy updates/revisions, 13 improved the state policy score, 3 reduced it, 15 were score neutral. The mean score of the currently active policies was 16.9 (0.71 standard error), median of 17.0. All section scores improved slightly relative to original policies except for section (5).
Conclusions While there has been slight collective improvement since the origin of TDV policies in 1992, there remains tremendous opportunity for improvement policy presence and component caliber amongst all TDV policies of US states.
Significance Despite TDV’s status as a public health co, it is not understood why only select states have implemented supportive policy, why existing policies vary in terms of composition, nor what relationship exists between TDV policy presence/quality and outcomes. The findings of this work are necessary to position future research efforts to elucidate what is driving policy variation and what policy levers exist for promoting successful prevention of and response to instances of TDV.
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