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Evaluation of the One Love Escalation Workshop for Dating Abuse Prevention: A Randomized Controlled Trial Pilot Study with a Sample of U.S. Navy Sailors

NCJ Number
Prevention Science Volume: 22 Dated: 2021 Pages: 1060-1070
Emily F. Rothman; Julia K. Campbell; Emily Quinn; Sonia Smith; Ziming Xuan
Date Published
11 pages

This article presents the authors’ evaluation methodology and outcomes regarding the effectiveness a one-session Escalation Workshop that involved U.S. Navy sailors, with the goal of addressing dating abuse situations.


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of the one-session Escalation Workshop with a sample of U.S. Navy sailors. The workshop was designed to promote bystander behavior related to dating abuse. The authors conducted a two-arm, randomized controlled trial (RCT) with follow-up at four and eight months. Participants were 335 Navy sailors, recruited from two comparable ships based in the U.S. The unit of randomization was the ship. The primary outcomes were as follows: attitudes related to intervening as a bystander in dating abuse situations; injunctive norms about dating abuse; dating abuse-related prevention-oriented behaviors, such as posting dating violence prevention messages online; and bystander behaviors including acting as a bystander to prevent peer self-harm, peer bullying, peer intoxication, or peer dating abuse, or being a proactive bystander and initiating conversations about dating abuse prevention with friends and others. Hierarchal linear models (HLMs) indicated that, compared to participants in the control group, participants in the intervention group demonstrated improvement in attitudes and had more engagement than controls in prevention-oriented behavior at the eight-month follow-up. Those in the intervention group also reported larger increases than controls in bystander behavior related to peer self-harm, peer bullying, peer intoxication, and starting conversations about dating abuse. Results for dating abuse bystander behavior were mixed. At four months, workshop participation was marginally associated with increased bystander behavior with peers who had perpetrated dating abuse and with peers experiencing physical or sexual dating abuse, or stalking or threats, however workshop participation was not associated with increased bystander behavior with peers experiencing only physical abuse. The Escalation Workshop may be a promising strategy to promote change in dating abuse-related attitudinal change and prevention-oriented behavior, and bystander behavior with peers related to self-harm, bullying, intoxication, and some aspects of dating abuse prevention. Publisher Abstract Provided