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Dr. Sherry Hamby and Kaki Nix ‘10 research with Swiss colleagues

Sherry Hamby, Research Associate Professor of Psychology, and Kaki Nix '10 collaborated with Jacqueline De Puy, Université de Lausanne, and Sylvie Monnier, Haute École de Travail Social de Genève, in comparing Swiss and U.S. teenagers' understanding of "dating" and "violence".

A U.S. dating violence prevention program, Safe Dates (Foshee et al., 1996), was adapted to the sociocultural context of Francophone Switzerland. Although United States and the industrial democracies of Western Europe share many cultural similarities, cultural differences also need consideration. Nineteen focus groups were held with youth and 4 with professionals in two Swiss towns. Numerous cultural adaptations were necessary even for this European context. The most fundamental concepts of the program—"dating" and "violence"—are not the same in Switzerland and the U.S. Regarding dating, Swiss teenagers appeared less focused on establishing monogamous romantic relationships in adolescence in comparison to U.S. teenagers, and there is no ready translation for "dating." Further, violence has not become the focus of a social movement in Switzerland to the same extent that it has in the U.S., and distinctions among terms such as "dating violence," "spouse abuse," and "domestic violence" are not well known. Psychoeducational approaches are also less common in the Swiss context. The program was revised to reflect these and other concerns. It is the first violence prevention program specifically adapted for a European culture.  [Journal Abstract]

Hamby, S.; Nix, K.; De Puy, J.; & Monnier, S.  (under review). Adapting dating violence prevention to Francophone Switzerland: a story of Intra-Western cultural differences.