Background research on topic must Include:
The Extent of the Problem: Use (national, state, local) data/information to show the need for counseling.
Behavioral Characteristics: Describe observable symptoms.
Counseling Strategies: Describe counseling approaches, techniques and topics that have been used (or are suggested for use) when covering this issue.
Label each of the above sections in paper
Support all ideas with research!!
Use at least 4 current references (journal articles within the past 10 years)
Sample of Research paper:
Violence in schools is a topic that has become talk of the media in recent years after incidents like Columbine and Virginia Tech. Although school violence is discussed when a
major incident occurs, it is rarely talked about in terms of violence in dating relationships. Schools are acting to address the issue of active shooters but by failing to address the more common issue of dating violence, they are opening themselves up to liability issues as well as
molding a future generation of students with severe roblems. Schools are not only involved with shaping the minds of our adolescents but also their character. This puts school counselors in a unique position to address dating violence by promoting positive alternatives and creating a
safer school climate. Dating violence among adolescents is rarely addressed from the perspective of prevention. Most schools only address issues of violence post crisis which sends mixed messages about the importance of prevention. Therefore, the school’s response, or lack there of,
to dating violence teaches valuable lessons as well.
Extent of the Problem:
In the United States, teens are the fastest growing population at risk for dating violence.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), 1 in 5 adolescents reports being a victim of physical dating abuse, with the numbers dropping to 1 in 3 when verbal, emotional and sexual abuse are included (CDC, 2006). States seem to mimic the national statistics as well. According
to the California Student Survey, 5% of 9th graders and 8% of 11th graders reported at least one incidence of dating violence in their relationships (Austin & Skager, 2004). In addition to physical violence, many teens are reporting unwanted sexual experiences as part of the violence
included in their relationships. Nearly all female teenage rape victims know their attacker with 11% identifying the attacker as their boyfriend (CDC, 2006). In our high schools, teenage dating violence could be called the silent epidemic. This is because many teensfail to report these acts of violence. Molidor and Tolman (2001) state that only 3% of students reported an abusive incident to an authority figure and even more frightening is that 40% report someone else witnessing the abuse and failing to report it. In addition to remaining silent about the abuse, many girls tend to remain with the abuser. About 80% of girls who have been physically abused in their relationships continue to date their abuser after violence has begun (Moles, 2001).
Why should dating violence be a schools concern? Dating violence is a direct threat to a school’s safety. California’s State Constitution reads schools must provide a “safe, secure and peaceful” environment for our students (California State Constitution, n.d.). This form of
violence compromises a school’s ability to provide that safe environment. First, some dating violence literally takes place on school grounds. “Approximately 43% of teendating violence victims reported that the dating abuse they experienced occurred in a school building or on school grounds” (Molidor & Tolman, 2001, p. 180). Second, victims of teen violence are more likely than other students to be involved in other forms of violence on school grounds. A
California study found that ninth grade victims of violence are 6.4 times more likely to have carried a gun to school and 3 times more likely to have been in a physical fight at school (Austin & Skager, 2004). Finally, by ignoring the problem schools send a loud message that violence is
an acceptable behavior. Therefore, by failing to address the issue of teen dating violenceschools are not only shirking their responsibility of providing a safe learning environment which could result in liability issue if violence occurs but they are as the statistics show opening up the school to other forms of violence as well.
Dating violence impedes academic success and threatens those who are victims with other issues that interfere with academics. Girls experiencing relationship violence often feel self-conscious, afraid, do not want to go to school, and find it hard to pay attention (O’Keefe,2005). Girls may feel unsettled or frightened of their abusers who most likely attend the same school which causes an inability to focus on school work. Among 9th and 11th graders in
California, teen dating violence victims were twice as likely to have grades of mostly Ds or Fs as other 9th and 11th graders (Austin & Skager, 2004).
In addition to school work problems, violence contributes to health and safety issues
among victims. Victims of teen violence are also at considerably higher risk of engaging in
harmful behaviors such as using alcohol, tobacco, and drugs, becoming pregnant, developing
eating disorders, risky sexual behavior and considering or attempting suicide (Silverman, Mucci,
Raj & Hathaway, 2001). These behaviors are both indicators that something is impeding the
students’ ability to learn and warning signs that abuse might be occurring in their relationships.
Some common warning signs can be observed by those who have regular and consistent
contact with teen dating violence victims, including school staff. These include: physical signs of
injury, truancy, failing grades, indecision, changes in personality, use of drugs/alcohol,
emotional outbursts, isolation, depression and lowered self-esteem (O’Keefe, 2005)
As prevalent as teen dating violence is in today’s society, schools that fail to address the
problem are failing their students. An effective school will take the proactive approach to dating
violence and develop programming to address it before an incident occurs.
Many of the studies have all agreed that schools need to take a proactive approach in creating a
safer school concerning dating violence. Besides preventing current problems in their schools,
these programs seek to develop positive healthy adults. Davis and Benshoff (2000) state that as
dating is common among adolescents it is “this critical time that can provide pivotal experiences
that help adolescents define how they will interact, positively or negatively, within future dating
relationships and intimate partnerships” (395). Teaching students the basics of healthy
relationships will help them form the foundations upon which to develop positive future
relationships. Therefore, early intervention is important in changing harmful lessons teenswill
learn about relationships as well as interpersonal behavioral patterns (Davis & Benshoff, 2000).
Studies conducted on current prevention programs have noted some common areas that
have been successful in changing attitudes and behaviors around teen dating violence. Effective
prevention programs have included education about the different forms of datingviolence,
understanding dynamics of power and control, early warning signs, and aspects of healthy and
unhealthy relationships (O’Keefe, 2005). In addition, programs that have shown promising
results have included skill building around effective communication, conflict resolution, selfesteem
respect and honesty (Feiring & Furman, 2000).
Finally effective programs have been shown to teach prevention, intervention and
treatment. Hallfors, Young, Sanchez, Martin & Kupper (2004) state that programs should not
only teach young people how to avoid an abusive relationship, but to also teach them how to help
a friend who might be in one. After reviewing the literature, it seems the most effective programs
are those that are multifaceted addressing several areas with a focus on education and skills