Providing Assistance to the Victims of Adolescent Dating Violence: A National Assessment of School Nurses' Practices

Assistant Professor of Community Health Education, (), Department of Physiology and Health Science, Ball State University, Muncie, IN 47306.
Journal of School Health (Impact Factor: 1.43). 02/2013; 83(2):127-136. DOI: 10.1111/josh.12008
Source: PubMed


This study assessed the perceptions and practices of school nurses regarding adolescent dating violence (ADV).

The membership list of the National Association of School Nurses was used to identify a national random cross-sectional sample of high school nurses in the United States (N = 750). A valid and reliable survey instrument was developed and a 3-wave postal mailing procedure was used to maximize the return rate (57%).

Most school nurses (86.4%) reported that they did not have a protocol in their schools to respond to an incident of ADV. The majority of nurses reported that in the past 2 years, training to assist victims of ADV had not been provided to personnel in their schools (88.1%) and their schools did not conduct periodic student surveys that include questions on teen dating abuse behaviors (71.5%). Nurses who had a school protocol for responding to an incident of ADV perceived significantly fewer barriers to assisting victims of ADV and assisted more victims. Over half (55.3%) of high school nurses reported assisting a victim of ADV in the past 2 years.

Nurses appear to need more training in ADV. In addition, nurses found a number of barriers (eg, lack of training on ADV, lack of time, and lack of private space) to assisting student victims of ADV. Schools need to establish a means for assessing the status of ADV in their student population. Schools also need to provide in-service education for school personnel regarding prevention, assessment, and interdiction of ADV.

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