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Rueda -

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Children & Schools





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Teen dating violence (TDV) affects adolescents’ overall wellness, subsequent social–emotional and academic development, and future success. The extent to which high schools recognize the importance of TDV prevention, and their accountability to prevent or reduce its occurrence, is largely unknown. Recently, there has been increased legislative debate urging or requiring school boards to include TDV prevention strategies in their curriculum. The purpose of this study was to understand how high school personnel from three large schools, of predominantly Mexican heritage urban communities, perceive their role to intervene and prevent TDV. The authors conducted five focus groups (N = 26). TDV was recognized as a significant problem, but opinions about the extent to which it should be prioritized varied. Some participants were concerned with a consequential reduced focus on academics, whereas others viewed TDV prevention as a necessary precursor to academic achievement. In light of these findings, authors recommend that social workers take more leadership in identifying factors contributing to TDV, provide intervention in conflict and relationship management, advocate for more preventive education on a communitywide basis, and serve as a resource for any economic or cultural considerations that may help to promote change.


This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in [Children & Schools, Volume 40, Issue 3] following peer review. The version of record [Teenage Dating Violence: Perceptions of Need, Priority, and Prevention Responsibility among Schools in Predominantly Mexican Heritage Communities] is available online at:

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