United States' teen dating violence policies: summary of policy element variation

J Public Health Policy. 2022 Dec;43(4):503-514. doi: 10.1057/s41271-022-00365-7. Epub 2022 Sep 21.


As teen dating violence (TDV) has gained attention as a public health concern across the United States (US), many efforts to mitigate TDV appear as policies in the 50 states in the form of for programming in K-12 schools. A keyword search identified 61 state-level school-based TDV policies. We developed an abstraction form to conduct a content analysis of these policies and generated descriptive statistics and graphic summaries. Thirty of the policies were original and 31 were additions or revisions of policies enacted by 17 of the 30 states previously. Of a possible score of 63, the minimum, mean, median, and maximum scores of currently active policies were 3.0, 17.7, 18.3, and 33.8, respectively. Results revealed considerable state-to-state variation in the presence and composition of school-based TDV policies. Opportunity for improving policies was universal, even among those with most favorably scores.

Keywords: Healthy relationship programming; Public health law; School-based policy; Teen dating violence.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Intimate Partner Violence* / prevention & control
  • Policy
  • Schools
  • United States