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Intervention Summary

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Safe Dates

Safe Dates is a program designed to stop or prevent the initiation of emotional, physical, and sexual abuse on dates or between individuals involved in a dating relationship. Intended for male and female 8th- and 9th-grade students, the goals of the program include: (1) changing adolescent dating violence and gender-role norms, (2) improving peer help-giving and dating conflict-resolution skills, (3) promoting victim and perpetrator beliefs in the need for help and seeking help through the community resources that provide it, and (4) decreasing dating abuse victimization and perpetration. Safe Dates consists of five components: a nine-session curriculum, a play script, a poster contest, parent materials, and a teacher training outline. In some studies, the program incorporated a booster session.

Descriptive Information

Areas of Interest Mental health promotion
Outcomes Review Date: August 2006
1: Perpetration of psychological abuse
2: Perpetration of sexual abuse
3: Perpetration of violence against a current dating partner
4: Perpetration of moderate physical abuse
5: Perpetration of severe physical abuse
6: Sexual abuse victimization
7: Physical abuse victimization
Outcome Categories Trauma/injuries
Violence
Ages 13-17 (Adolescent)
Genders Male
Female
Races/Ethnicities Black or African American
White
Race/ethnicity unspecified
Settings School
Geographic Locations Rural and/or frontier
Implementation History An estimated 600,000 individuals (students and adults combined) in the United States and in Australia, Canada, Chile, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Japan, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, and the United Kingdom have participated in the intervention.
NIH Funding/CER Studies Partially/fully funded by National Institutes of Health: No
Evaluated in comparative effectiveness research studies: Yes
Adaptations The Institute for Children, Youth, and Families at the University of Arizona has adapted the Safe Dates curriculum for youth of Native American, Hispanic, and mixed ethnicity. Spanish translations of the Safe Dates parent materials are available. A French translation of the Safe Dates curriculum has also been developed.
Adverse Effects No adverse effects, concerns, or unintended consequences were identified by the developer.
IOM Prevention Categories Universal

Quality of Research
Review Date: August 2006

Documents Reviewed

The documents below were reviewed for Quality of Research. The research point of contact can provide information regarding the studies reviewed and the availability of additional materials, including those from more recent studies that may have been conducted.

Study 1

Foshee, V. A., Bauman, K. E., Arriaga, X. B., Helms, R. W., Koch, G. G., & Linder, G. F. (1998). An evaluation of Safe Dates, an adolescent dating violence prevention program. American Journal of Public Health, 88(1), 45-50.  Pub Med icon

Study 2

Foshee, V. A., Bauman, K. E., Ennett, S. T., Linder, G. F., Benefield, T., & Suchindran, C. (2004). Assessing the long-term effects of the Safe Dates program and a booster in preventing and reducing adolescent dating violence victimization and perpetration. American Journal of Public Health, 94(4), 619-624.  Pub Med icon

Study 3

Foshee, V. A., Bauman, K. E., Ennett, S. T., Suchindran, C., Benefield, T., & Linder, G. F. (2005). Assessing the effects of the dating violence prevention program "Safe Dates" using random coefficient regression modeling. Prevention Science, 6(3), 245-258.  Pub Med icon

Supplementary Materials

Coding and psychometric properties of the Acceptance of Dating Violence scale

Data collection protocols (Baseline Adolescent Questionnaire, School Data Collector Training Guide, Teacher's Evaluation of Days 1-9, Monitoring Forms for Days 1-9, Student Absence Forms)

Foshee, V. A., Bauman, K. E., Greene, W. F, Koch, G. G., Linder, G. F., & MacDougall, J. E. (2000). The Safe Dates program: 1-year follow-up results. American Journal of Public Health, 90(10), 1619-1622.  Pub Med icon

Foshee, V. A., Benefield, T. S., Ennett, S. T., Bauman, K. E., & Suchindran, C. (2004). Longitudinal predictors of serious physical and sexual dating violence victimization during adolescence. Preventive Medicine, 39, 1007-1016.  Pub Med icon

Foshee, V. A., Linder, G. F., Bauman, K. E., Langwick, S. A., Arriaga, X. B., Heath, J. L., et al. (1996). The Safe Dates project: Theoretical basis, evaluation design, and selected baseline findings. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 12(Suppl. 2), 39-47.  Pub Med icon

Foshee, V. A., Linder, F., MacDougall, J. E., & Bangdiwala, S. (2001). Gender differences in the longitudinal predictors of adolescent dating violence. Preventive Medicine, 32, 128-141.  Pub Med icon

Safe Dates Curriculum Binder ("Introduction to the Curriculum" section, nine 50-minute-session implementation curriculum, student play script, parent materials, teacher training outline)

Safe Dates direct mail promotion

Safe Dates Program Detail

Scales used to measure mediating and outcome variables in the Safe Dates study

Outcomes

Outcome 1: Perpetration of psychological abuse
Description of Measures This outcome was measured by asking how often the person had ever perpetrated each of 14 different acts (e.g., damaged something that belonged to the victim, insulted the victim in front of others) on someone with whom they had been on a date.
Key Findings Safe Dates participants reported statistically significant decreases in psychological abuse perpetration at all four follow-up points, relative to adolescents in the comparison condition (p < .001).
Studies Measuring Outcome Study 1, Study 3
Study Designs Experimental
Quality of Research Rating 3.3 (0.0-4.0 scale)
Outcome 2: Perpetration of sexual abuse
Description of Measures This outcome was measured by asking how many times the person had perpetrated each of two different acts on someone with whom they had been on a date: (1) forced them to have sex and (2) forced them to do other sexual things that they did not want to do.
Key Findings Safe Dates participants reported statistically significant decreases in sexual abuse perpetration against a dating partner at all four follow-up points, relative to adolescents in the comparison condition (p < .05).
Studies Measuring Outcome Study 1, Study 2, Study 3
Study Designs Experimental
Quality of Research Rating 3.2 (0.0-4.0 scale)
Outcome 3: Perpetration of violence against a current dating partner
Description of Measures This outcome was measured by asking those adolescents who were currently dating someone how often they had used physical force against that partner (not in self-defense).
Key Findings Safe Dates participants reported statistically significant decreases in violence perpetration against a current dating partner at 1-month follow-up, relative to adolescents in the comparison condition (p < .05).
Studies Measuring Outcome Study 1
Study Designs Experimental
Quality of Research Rating 3.0 (0.0-4.0 scale)
Outcome 4: Perpetration of moderate physical abuse
Description of Measures This outcome was measured by asking how many times the person had perpetrated each of 12 different acts on someone with whom they had been on a date: scratching, slapping, biting, pushing, grabbing, kicking, shoving, arm twisting, slamming against wall, bending back fingers, dumping out of a car, and throwing something at the partner.
Key Findings Safe Dates participants reported statistically significant decreases in perpetration of moderate physical abuse at all four follow-up points, relative to adolescents in the comparison condition (p < .05).
Studies Measuring Outcome Study 2, Study 3
Study Designs Experimental
Quality of Research Rating 3.3 (0.0-4.0 scale)
Outcome 5: Perpetration of severe physical abuse
Description of Measures This outcome was measured by asking how many times the person had perpetrated each of five different acts on someone with whom they had been on a date: choking, burning, beating up, hitting with a fist or something else hard, and assaulting with knife or weapon.
Key Findings Statistically significant differences were found in self-reported perpetration of severe physical abuse between adolescents who participated in Safe Dates and those in the comparison condition. The differences were most pronounced among adolescents who reported no perpetration of severe physical abuse at baseline (p = .001) but also were evident among adolescents who reported average levels of perpetration of severe physical abuse at baseline (p = .005).

For adolescents who reported high amounts of severe physical abuse at baseline, no significant differences were found between the treatment and comparison groups in reported incidence of severe physical perpetration at any of the four follow-up points.
Studies Measuring Outcome Study 2, Study 3
Study Designs Experimental
Quality of Research Rating 3.3 (0.0-4.0 scale)
Outcome 6: Sexual abuse victimization
Description of Measures This outcome was measured by asking respondents how many times anyone they had been on a date with had either (1) forced them to have sex or (2) forced them to do other sexual things they did not want to do.
Key Findings Safe Dates participants reported significantly reduced rates of sexual abuse victimization at 4 years after the intervention, relative to adolescents in the comparison condition (p = .01).
Studies Measuring Outcome Study 2
Study Designs Experimental
Quality of Research Rating 2.9 (0.0-4.0 scale)
Outcome 7: Physical abuse victimization
Description of Measures This outcome was measured by asking how many times anyone the respondent had been on a date with had done each of 12 different acts to the respondent: scratching, slapping, biting, pushing, grabbing, kicking, shoving, arm twisting, slamming against wall, bending back fingers, dumping out of a car, and throwing something at the respondent.
Key Findings Safe Dates participants reported significantly reduced rates of being victimized (moderate physical abuse) at all four follow-up points, relative to adolescents in the comparison condition (p = .01).
Studies Measuring Outcome Study 2, Study 3
Study Designs Experimental
Quality of Research Rating 3.3 (0.0-4.0 scale)

Study Populations

The following populations were identified in the studies reviewed for Quality of Research.

Study Age Gender Race/Ethnicity
Study 1 13-17 (Adolescent) 51.1% Female
48.9% Male
77.1% White
19.1% Black or African American
3.8% Race/ethnicity unspecified
Study 2 13-17 (Adolescent) 58.5% Female
41.5% Male
75.6% White
24.4% Race/ethnicity unspecified
Study 3 13-17 (Adolescent) 53.2% Female
46.8% Male
72.2% White
27.8% Race/ethnicity unspecified

Quality of Research Ratings by Criteria (0.0-4.0 scale)

External reviewers independently evaluate the Quality of Research for an intervention's reported results using six criteria:

  1. Reliability of measures
  2. Validity of measures
  3. Intervention fidelity
  4. Missing data and attrition
  5. Potential confounding variables
  6. Appropriateness of analysis

For more information about these criteria and the meaning of the ratings, see Quality of Research.

Outcome Reliability
of Measures
Validity
of Measures
Fidelity Missing
Data/Attrition
Confounding
Variables
Data
Analysis
Overall
Rating
1: Perpetration of psychological abuse 2.5 4.0 2.5 3.8 4.0 3.0 3.3
2: Perpetration of sexual abuse 2.5 4.0 2.5 3.0 3.8 3.2 3.2
3: Perpetration of violence against a current dating partner 2.0 4.0 2.5 3.5 4.0 2.0 3.0
4: Perpetration of moderate physical abuse 2.5 4.0 2.5 3.3 3.8 3.5 3.3
5: Perpetration of severe physical abuse 2.5 4.0 2.5 3.3 3.8 3.5 3.3
6: Sexual abuse victimization 2.0 4.0 2.5 2.5 3.5 3.0 2.9
7: Physical abuse victimization 2.5 4.0 2.5 3.3 3.8 3.5 3.3

Study Strengths

The intervention was implemented with a reasonably high degree of fidelity, using multiple measures that were developed specifically for this research. These measures appear to have acceptable reliability, and the applicant made an effort to ascertain that the measures were valid, a challenging task given that no existing instruments were deemed appropriate for this research. The questionnaire is easy to understand, not too long, and seems to have good construct validity. The study design entailed random assignment of schools to the treatment and control conditions.

Study Weaknesses

Although several strategies were used to address attrition, including multiple imputation procedures in the most recent analyses focusing on longitudinal data, the findings could have been affected by substantial overall attrition and nonrandom missing data. The absence of differential attrition by group does provide some indication that these effects did not occur.

Readiness for Dissemination
Review Date: August 2006

Materials Reviewed

The materials below were reviewed for Readiness for Dissemination. The implementation point of contact can provide information regarding implementation of the intervention and the availability of additional, updated, or new materials.

Foshee, V., & Langwick, S. (2004). Safe Dates: An adolescent dating abuse prevention curriculum. Center City, MN: Hazelden Foundation.

Readiness for Dissemination Ratings by Criteria (0.0-4.0 scale)

External reviewers independently evaluate the intervention's Readiness for Dissemination using three criteria:

  1. Availability of implementation materials
  2. Availability of training and support resources
  3. Availability of quality assurance procedures

For more information about these criteria and the meaning of the ratings, see Readiness for Dissemination.

Implementation
Materials
Training and Support
Resources
Quality Assurance
Procedures
Overall
Rating
3.8 3.3 2.3 3.1

Dissemination Strengths

The introduction to the curriculum provides a solid orientation to each component as well as background information on the intervention's goals, intended audience, and research base. The implementation materials provide guidance on risk management issues and a matrix that summarizes the preparation needed for each session. Lesson plans are clear, concise, and detailed, providing a brief description, outcomes/objectives, background information, timed exercises, and handouts. "Teacher Tips" scattered throughout the lessons provide helpful guidance. The teacher training outline provides detailed instructions for a train-the-trainer program, addressing logistics as well as content. Introductory materials answer questions that administrators and parents may have about the program. Pretest and posttest surveys are provided to support quality assurance.

Dissemination Weaknesses

Implementation materials are in print format only and not available electronically for printing or for use with a VGA projector. Adding color to these black-and-white materials may help with both aesthetics and organization. The pretest and posttest surveys are in fill-in-the-blank and true/false format, making them difficult to score. The materials do not include any information on how to access the "train the trainer" program or how to contact the developer with questions about fidelity and program modifications/adaptations.

Costs

The cost information below was provided by the developer. Although this cost information may have been updated by the developer since the time of review, it may not reflect the current costs or availability of items (including newly developed or discontinued items). The implementation point of contact can provide current information and discuss implementation requirements.

Item Description Cost Required by Developer
Curriculum $225 each Yes
1-day, on-site basic or refresher training $2,200 per day per site plus travel expenses No
1-day, off-site basic or refresher training $200 per participant No
Technical assistance $100 per hour No
Scope and sequence document, research information, and fidelity checklist Included with curriculum No

Additional Information

The cost to implement Safe Dates includes the purchase of the curriculum (which an experienced teacher can deliver without training) and the cost of the teacher's salary. Discounts are available depending on the volume of orders. Purchasers who place orders through Hazelden's Online Bookstore receive free shipping.

Replications

No replications were identified by the developer.

Contact Information

To learn more about implementation or research, contact:
Kaylene McElfresh
(651) 213-4324
kmcelfresh@hazelden.org

Consider these Questions to Ask (PDF, 54KB) as you explore the possible use of this intervention.

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