A Brief Intervention to Prevent Adolescent Dating Aggression Perpetration (PLR)

This study is not yet open for participant recruitment. (see Contacts and Locations)
Verified March 2014 by Boston University
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Boston University
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier:
First received: March 4, 2014
Last updated: March 5, 2014
Last verified: March 2014

The proposed study is a test of the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of a brief motivational interview style intervention. The intervention will take place in the pediatric emergency department of the Boston University Medical Center by a trained interventionist and will follow an intervention manual developed by a team of dating abuse and brief intervention experts. The study will involve two randomized groups of youth age 16-18: one group will receive the intervention and the other will not. The study will compare changes in data from baseline to 3- and 6-month follow-up for those in both groups. Outcomes including dating abused related knowledge, attitudes about the use of violence to resolve conflict, and dating abuse behavior (perpetration and/or victimization) will be assessed.

The hypothesis of this study is that youth who receive the intervention will show improvements in dating abuse related knowledge, attitudes and behavior that are maintained for 6 months, while those in the control group will show no similar change.

Condition Intervention
Offensive Aggression
Sexual Aggression
Dating Violence Perpetration and Victimization
Behavioral: Brief Motivational Interview

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Open Label
Primary Purpose: Prevention
Official Title: A Brief Intervention to Prevent Adolescent Dating Aggression Perpetration

Further study details as provided by Boston University:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Dating Aggression Perpetration [ Time Frame: three months ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
    Change in the perpetration of dating aggression from baseline to three month follow-up.

  • Dating Aggression Perpetration [ Time Frame: six months ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
    Change in the perpetration of dating aggression from baseline to six month follow-up.

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Knowledge and Attitudes about Dating Aggression [ Time Frame: three months ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
    Change in Knowledge and Attitudes about Dating Aggression from baseline to the three month follow-up

  • Knowledge and Attitudes about Dating Aggression [ Time Frame: six months ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
    Change in Knowledge and Attitudes about Dating Aggression from baseline to the six month follow-up.

Other Outcome Measures:
  • Program Cost-effectiveness [ Time Frame: up to 18 months ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
    Costs are the value of resources used before and during implementation to deliver the intervention.

Estimated Enrollment: 360
Study Start Date: March 2014
Estimated Study Completion Date: December 2016
Estimated Primary Completion Date: December 2016 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: Brief Motivational Interview
Health counseling that takes place in as little as one hour or up to a few sessions.
Behavioral: Brief Motivational Interview
The intervention is exclusively focused on Adolescent Dating Aggression and will always be delivered by a human interventionist. It is theory-based and its success as an intervention method for substance abuse and several other health-related issues is well established.
No Intervention: Standard Care
Participant will receive referrals to community or additional medical resources if requested.

Detailed Description:

Emergency departments offer a unique setting through which we can reach adolescents who have perpetrated Adolescent Dating Aggression (ADA). The Project READY (Reducing Aggression in Dating Relationships for Youth) brief intervention manual and training was developed by Dr. Emily Rothman, who is a former shelter worker, batterer intervention counselor, and dating violence expert, with input from research experts in brief intervention, an expert in adolescent batterer intervention, psychologists, low-income youth of color from the Start Strong Initiative, and others, with funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The READY intervention intercepts youth who utilize an urban emergency department for non-acute health care needs (e.g., cuts, sprains), provides them with tailored feedback about their relationship behavior, and uses motivational interviewing techniques and prepared worksheets to move them forward on a readiness-to-change continuum towards non-violent and respectful relationship behavior. For example, after being provided with information about acts considered unhealthy in a relationship, a participant is asked to generate a list of "pros and cons" about what he or she does to solve conflicts with partners, brainstorm alternatives that he or she would use, list reasons why the alternatives might not work in the moment, and troubleshoot those potential problems. Participants are then offered a menu of referrals and invited to select those that they would use (e.g., free mental health and substance abuse counseling, sexual health testing, gang prevention resources).

The proposed randomized controlled trial (RCT) research study will build upon our completed small-scale feasibility pilot project (N=27), which was conducted in 2012- 13. For the proposed study, we will recruit a sample large enough (N=334 at baseline) to evaluate whether the intervention improves ADA-related knowledge, positively changes ADA-related attitudes and behavioral intentions, and reduces self-reported perpetration behavior after 3- and 6-month follow-up periods. The study will enroll youth ages 16-18 years old. Notably, the setting for this intervention test will be an urban pediatric emergency department that primarily serves low income youth.


Ages Eligible for Study:   16 Years to 18 Years
Genders Eligible for Study:   Both
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • must be a patient of the Pediatric Emergency Department at the Boston University Medical Center
  • must be 16-18 years old
  • have used at least one form of physical or sexual aggression against a dating or sexual partner in the past three months
  • English-speaking

Exclusion Criteria:

  • patient's reason for visit to the Pediatric Emergency Department is an acute mental health problem
  • patient is a prisoner or juvenile detainee
  • patient is determined to be a potentially lethal dating abuse offender based on Campbell's Lethality Checklist
  • patient has cognitive or psychiatric limitations that render him/her unable to complete the eligibility form independently
  • currently attending a batterer intervention program
  • receiving care for violent trauma victimization
  • appears intoxicated or high on drugs at the time of eligibility screening, or has informed medical staff that they are
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT02080923

Contact: Emily F Rothman, MS, ScD erothman@bu.edu
Contact: Allyson Baughman, MPH 617.414.1374 allysonb@bu.edu

United States, Massachusetts
Boston University School of Public Health Not yet recruiting
Boston, Massachusetts, United States, 02118
Contact: Emily F Rothman, MS, ScD       erothman@bu.edu   
Principal Investigator: Emily F Rothman, MS, ScD         
Sponsors and Collaborators
Boston University
Principal Investigator: Emily F Rothman, MS, ScD Boston University
  More Information

Responsible Party: Boston University
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02080923     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 2013-VA-CX-0001 
Study First Received: March 4, 2014
Last Updated: March 5, 2014
Health Authority: United States: Data and Safety Monitoring Board
United States: Institutional Review Board
United States: Federal Government (Department of Justice)

Keywords provided by Boston University:
Adolescent Behavior
Violence/statistics & numerical data
Dating Violence
Dating Aggression
Age Factors
Randomized Control Trial
Minority Groups/statistics & numerical data
Sex Factors
Sexual Behavior/statistics & numerical data
Substance-Related Disorders/epidemiology
Urban Population/statistics & numerical data

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Behavioral Symptoms

ClinicalTrials.gov processed this record on May 26, 2016