Date of Conferral
Brandon J. Cosley
Intimate partner violence (IPV) is considered a pressing public health concern. Adolescent victims of IPV are at risk of a number of severe consequences which can lead to poorer academic performance, relationship problems, and being revictimized by or perpetrating IPV later in life. The purpose of this study was to conduct a qualitative case study on the Love Doesn’t Hurt (LDH) program run in 100 schools in Kansas to understand the professional viewpoints of the counselors/teachers who led the program, determine whether they saw improvements among the male adolescent population, obtain knowledge of ways the program worked or did not work, and determine suggestions for future practices. The central question was: What experiences and reactions do Kansas middle school students have while participating in the LDH program? Open-ended unstructured interviews were held with 9 family and consumer science teachers/counselors from 3 sites in Kansas (1 each from a rural, suburban, and urban setting) selected through purposive sampling and analyzed through NVivo 12 software. The theoretical foundation for this study was social learning and feminist theory. Students participating in the LDH program seemed to communicate more openly with and have greater awareness related to IPV. Girls felt more comfortable and participated more than boys. Boys seemed more mature when separated from girls but perceived the curriculum as “male-bashing.” This study is critical for policymakers; they may want to integrate the program more permanently into their academic curriculum, especially since longer sessions of IPV prevention programs seem to produce more long-term effects.