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From The CriticsReviewer: Geri R. Donenberg, PhD (Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine)
Description: This intervention manual uses a group approach to focus on adolescent relationships and the prevention of woman abuse. Topics include power in relationships; breaking the cycle of violence; and the contribution of sexism, sex role stereotypes, and the media in relationship violence. Specific exercises teach active listening, assertiveness skills, clear communication, and respect among relationship partners. Videotapes, outside speakers, active community involvement, and other hands-on experiences are woven into the curriculum.
Purpose: The authors' primary goal is to "assist adults in empowering youth to end violence in relationships through education, skill development, and social competence." The authors objectives are very important, and this manual addresses the key issues.
Audience: This manual appears to be written primarily for mental health practitioners and school counselors with some experience working with teenagers; important group leader qualities are indicated. The manual can be applied in a variety of settings (i.e., school, clinic, hospitals). The authors developed the manual from their ongoing research program on violence against women and children, and they are experts on this topic.
Features: Each chapter covers one group session, including a summary of the session's goals and objectives, detailed descriptions of the activities and their time allotment, and specific exercises and handouts. Two chapters include tables and figures to supplement the text. Most references are from the '90s;1990s; no subject or author index is provided.
Assessment: This easy-to-follow manual fills an important gap in the literature by focusing on violence among teenagers. Despite minimal outcome data, the program employs an engaging and compelling format using varied techniques, such as role-plays, interactive exercises, and group discussions to teach positive behaviors and appropriate conflict resolution skills. The manual is especially useful for trained professionals working with young people exposed to violence or at risk for violence in future interpersonal relationships.