About the Preventing Teen Dating and Youth Violence Program


CDC’s Preventing Teen Dating and Youth Violence by Addressing Shared Risk and Protective Factors program funded 5 local health departments over a five-year period (2016-2021) to engage in primary prevention activities. These local health departments and their community partners used strategies based on the best available evidence to change common risk and protective factors across multiple levels of the social-ecological model.

What are Shared Risk and Protective Factors?

Different types of violence are connected and often share the same root causes. Multiple forms of violence can take place under one roof, in the same community or neighborhood, at the same time, and at different stages of life. Understanding the overlapping causes of violence and the factors that can protect people and communities can help us better prevent violence in all its forms.

Individual, relationship, and environmental factors can increase or decrease the likelihood of violence.  Characteristics and conditions that make it more likely that people will experience violence are called risk factorsProtective factors decrease the likelihood that people will experience violence or buffer against the effects of risk factors. Shared risk and protective factors impact multiple forms of violence. For more information on shared risk and protective factors, visit Connecting the Dots: An Overview of the Links Among Multiple Forms of Violence.

Why was this Initiative Created?

Communities have limited resources and struggle to implement multiple strategies to prevent all forms of violence.  This initiative maximizes prevention efforts by reducing shared risk factors and enhancing shared protective factors for teen dating violence and youth violence. The multipart approach also addresses the connections between the risk and protective factors of individuals, their relationships, and the environments in which they live. This approach can increase the likelihood of reducing multiple forms of violence and of sustaining prevention efforts more than any single prevention activity.

See Intimate Partner Violence Resources and Youth Violence Resources for more prevention resources for preventing teen dating violence and youth violence.