Adapting an evidence-based positive youth development intervention to prevent sexual and teen dating violence.


Eisman AB(1), Hicks M(2), Kernsmith PD(2), Rupp L(1), Smith-Darden JP(2), Zimmerman MA(1).
Author information:
(1)Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, USA.
(2)School of Social Work, Wayne State University, Detroit, USA.


Adapting evidence-based interventions (EBIs) guided by implementation science frameworks is a promising way to accelerate the translation of effective violence prevention in schools. School-based interventions offer an opportunity to reduce the risk of multiple forms of violence, including sexual violence (SV) and teen dating violence (TDV). EBIs in schools reach large populations of adolescents, including those underserved in other settings. Although specific SV/TDV prevention programs exist, evaluations indicate limited effectiveness over time. We adapted systematically the Youth Empowerment Solutions (YES) violence-prevention EBI using key adaptation steps described in implementation science frameworks to expand the scope of YES to integrate an SV/TDV focus and meet the needs of local youth. In the formative project year, the team adapted YES to integrate SV/TDV content informed by key steps outlined in frameworks including ADAPT-ITT, research-tested intervention programs, and map of the adaptation process. These steps include: (a) assess school and student needs, (b) identify, select an EBI, (c) consult with experts with knowledge in the new topic area (SV/TDV), (d) collaborate with community partners and stakeholders, (e) identify areas for adaptation while maintaining fidelity to core elements, (f) train staff, (g) pilot test adapted materials, (h) implement, and (i) evaluate. We developed the YES for Healthy Relationships (YES-HR), a school-based prevention program that retained core elements of YES, including content related to mastery, adult resources, leadership skills, and community engagement, while integrating SV/TDV-specific content (e.g., consent). Implementation science adaptation frameworks are useful in guiding the systematic adaptation of existing EBIs to meet the needs of youth.