The purpose of this project was to develop and refine a web-based intervention that reduces the risk of dating violence among middle-school aged males.
For Phase 1, families were recruited for the study over a two and a half year period, beginning June 2015 through November 2017. To be eligible to participate, the adolescent had to identify as a male and be enrolled in the 7th or 8th grades.
Recruitment for Phase 2 involved three primary approaches. First, the intervention and research study were described to students by study staff in presentations during visits to classrooms and student assemblies. All male students in the 7th and 8th grades were provided
information about the study along with a consent to contact form for their parent/guardian if they wished to participate. Second, the principals of participating schools emailed 7th and 8th grade parents to introduce the study and provide a link to an online version of the consent to contact form. Lastly, study staff were invited by school administrators to school open houses and student award nights to speak to parents directly about the study and provide consent to contact forms. Once permission to contact families was received, study staff arranged a meeting with families to describe the project and obtain informed consent. Adolescent assent was obtained separately from parents, to ensure that adolescents did not feel coerced to participate.
Non-probability sampling methods were utilized whereby early adolescent males and a parent/guardian volunteered for the study.
Seventh and eighth grade males from six urban middle schools in the Providence, Rhode Island area, along with one parent/guardian.
FullDataStrongNIJ_wide.sav (n=120; 3094 variables): Dataset used for table replication purposes. Variables include criminal history, sexual history, relationship history, instances of dating violence, and parent/caregiver/family attitudes.
FullDataStrongNIJ_long.sav (n=360; 1033 variables): Variables include criminal history, sexual history, relationship history, instances of dating violence, and parent/caregiver/family attitudes.
Demographic variables include age, grade-level, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, number of adults living in the household, internet access, and yearly family income.
For the randomized controlled trial, 1,546 early adolescent males were approached in schools. Of those, 208 (13 percent) returned Consent to Contact forms indicating their parent/guardian's interest in learning more about the project. Of those, 88 were not consented (19 refused, 45 were unreachable, 13 were non-English speaking, 7 were unavailable, and 4 were ineligible due to parent guardian ineligibility (e.g., parent legally blind)); 120 were consented to participate in the project.
The Adolescent Risk Behavior Assessment. Items from the ARBA, a reliable and valid computer-assisted structured interview, will be used to gather descriptive information regarding adolescent sexual behaviors. A limited number of items will assess a range of behaviors (e.g., touching genitals, oral sex, vaginal sex), frequency of sex, and number of partners. We will also include items to obtain general information about participants' romantic relationships, including "How many relationships, including current ones, have you had?" and "How long ago did your previous relationship end?" We will also ask participants to report on the number of relationships terminated or not initiated due to concerns about DV. (Adolescent)
Attitudes about Relationship Violence Questionnaire (ARVQ; MacGowan, 1997): completed by parents and teens, assesses knowledge, attitudes, and methods of dealing with dating violence. The current sample showed good internal consistency for both teens (alpha = .70) and parents (alpha = .84). (Adolescent and Parent)
Conflict in Adolescent Dating Relationships Inventory. The Conflict in Adolescent Dating Relationships Inventory (CADRI; Wolfe et al., 2001), completed by dating teens, assesses verbal, emotional, physical, and sexual dating abuse perpetration and victimization with a current or recent dating partner. The CADRI has demonstrated reliability in previous research, 2-week test retest reliability, r=.68, p less than .01, as well as acceptable partner agreement (r=.64, p less than .01; Wolfe et al., 2003). In our current study we observed strong internal consistency (alpha=.83). At each timepoint, participants reported on the past 6 months. (Adolescent)
Conflict Tactics Scale - Short Form (CTS-S; Straus and Douglas, 2004) which assesses parental history of domestic violence, measuring the frequency of both verbal and physical aggression with a romantic partner. (Parent)
Aggression Questionnaire. The AQ is a 34-item questionnaire that rates five types of aggression (physical aggression, verbal aggression, anger, hostility, and indirect aggression). The AQ yields excellent reliability (alpha=.94, rtt =.80, total score) and validity. (Adolescent)
Adolescent Self-Regulatory Inventory (ASRI; Moilanen, 2007)measures perceptions of adolescents' abilities to regulate over the short-term and long-term, separately; both adolescents and parents completed it about the adolescent. The internal consistency for our sample was good for both adolescents (alpha = .66) and parents (alpha =.88)
Emotion Regulation Behaviors Scale (ERBS; Houck, Hadley, Barker, Brown, Hancock, and Almy, 2016) assesses the frequency of engaging in specific emotion regulation behaviors (e.g., "getting away from whatever was causing the feeling") when experiencing strong feelings over
the previous week. Participants rated engaging in each behavior on a scale from 1 (all the time) to 5 (never). Items were reverse coded so that higher scores indicate more use of emotion regulation behaviors. Internal consistency of the current sample was excellent (alpha=.81).