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Feasibility and Initial Evaluation of Project PEACE: An Intervention for College Students at Risk for Dating Violence

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Although dating violence is prevalent among college students, few programs have been designed specifically to prevent dating violence in this population. This article describes the development and initial evaluation of one such program: Project PEACE (Partner Enrichment to Address Conflict Effectively). Project PEACE seeks to reduce physical and psychological dating violence in both men and women by promoting skills in mindfulness, emotion regulation, distress tolerance, cognitive restructuring, and interpersonal communication. In a randomized controlled feasibility trial, 32 college students at risk for dating violence (indicated by past dating violence, hazardous alcohol use, high trait anger, relationship dissatisfaction, or relationship conflict) were randomized to a treatment or no-treatment control. Physical and psychological dating violence, attitudes on dating violence, and recognition that alcohol can lead to aggression were assessed at pretreatment, posttreatment, and 1-month followup. Trends were observed in the expected direction for self-reported physical and psychological dating violence. Compared to the control condition, Project PEACE protected against increasing acceptance of abuse in dating relationships and heightened awareness alcohol could lead to aggression. Participants expressed satisfaction with the intervention. Results suggest Project PEACE is a feasible and promising approach to reduce risk of dating violence in college students. Larger scale evaluation of Project PEACE is recommended.
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Keywords: COGNITIVE-BEHAVIORAL; PARTNER AGGRESSION; PREVENTION; SKILLS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2017

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