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Development and Pilot Evaluation of an Online Intervention to Prevent Dating Violence and Problem Drinking in Sexual Minority Youth

Research Team


Principal Investigator: Katie M. Edwards

Co-Principal Investigators: Lorey Wheeler, Heather Littleton, Clayton Neighbors

Funding Information

Funding Agency: National Institutes of Health-National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)

Award Date: Mar 5, 2021

End Date: Dec 31, 2023


Dating violence (DV) is strongly associated with problem drinking (PD), and both DV and PD occur at high rates among sexual minority youth, in part because of increased minority stress and decreased sense of community. Prevention programming that targets these factors (minority stress and sense of community), in conjunction with other evidence-based programming components (e.g., shifting attitudes to be intolerant of DV, acquisition of alcohol and unwanted sex refusal skills), could ultimately reduce rates of DV and PD, and related health behaviors, such as suicidal thoughts and behavior among LGBQ+ youth. 

During the development phase, the project aims to develop a new online DV and PD prevention initiative for LGBQ+ youth, ages 15 to 18. Eight 45-minute modules will be developed for delivery via telehealth sessions led by LGBTQ+ facilitators. The sessions will be developed with the help of feedback from LGBQ+ youth and experts in the field.

Once finalized, the program will be rolled out to 200 youth nationwide. Participants will be recruited on social media, with advertisements targeting LGBTQ+ youth across the country, particularly in remote or rural areas.

Findings will be shared with a broad audience via scholarly papers, non-technical reports and webinars. The ultimate goal is to develop the first ever DV and PD prevention initiative specifically for LGBQ+ youth.

Academic Intervention & Learning, Social, Emotional and Behavioral Well-being

Nebraska and Colorado researchers are leading development of an online dating violence and problem drinking prevention initiative for LGBTQ+ youth ages 15 to 18.
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