Program evaluation has been an integral part of the Expect Respect® Program from its very beginning. Understanding the need to assess the impact of the program, program staff initially partnered with researchers from the University of Texas, School of Social Work to develop and refine evaluation methods. From 1997 – 2000, SafePlace received funding and technical assistance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for preventing dating violence by addressing bullying and sexual harassment in elementary schools (Rosenbluth, Whitaker, Valle, & Ball, 2010).

In 2003, the Expect Respect Program was one of four programs selected by the CDC to participate in an empowerment evaluation that aimed to build capacity for program improvement, manual development and evaluation and develop a knowledge base of evidence-based prevention efforts (Noonan & Gibbs, 2009).

The initial, qualitative evaluation focused on Expect Respect support groups for at-risk youth. Interviews with support group participants (Ball, Kerig, & Rosenbluth, 2007) indicated that groups were effective in increasing knowledge about warning signs of abuse and skills for healthy relationships. Participants described the importance of strong and authentic relationships among group members. These findings provided the impetus for strengthening the support group curriculum by focusing on active skill development within an emotionally safe and respectful group environment.

Expect Respect continued to refine survey instruments to quantify program outcomes of support groups. The preliminary, uncontrolled evaluation published in the Journal of Violence Against Women is a first step in demonstrating outcomes of this targeted, school-based dating violence prevention program (Ball, Tharp, Noonan, Valle, Hamburger & Rosenbluth, 2012).

Promising results laid the groundwork for a multi-year, controlled outcome evaluation of Expect Respect Support Groups funded by the CDC.   We conducted a non-randomized controlled evaluation with over 1,600 participants in 36 schools. Baseline surveys were completed during the fall, wave 2 during the spring, and wave 3 during the fall of the following year.  Self-report measures included perpetration and victimization of controlling behaviors, psychological teen dating violence (TDV), physical TDV, sexual TDV, and reactive/ proactive aggression. For boys, the number of group sessions attended related to incremental declines in psychological, physical and sexual TDV victimization, psychological and sexual TDV perpetration, and reactive and proactive aggression. Among girls, attending  sessions was associated with incremental reductions in reactive and proactive aggression. Results suggest that Expect Respect Support Groups are an effective strategy to reduce peer aggression among high-risk adolescent boys and girls, and additionally reduce teen dating violence perpetration and victimization among boys. Expect Respect has the potential to decrease negative health and educational outcomes associated with aggression in peer and dating relationships.


Reidy, D.E., Holland, K.M., Cortina, K., Ball, B., and Rosenbluth, B. (2017). Evaluation of the Expect Respect® support group program: A violence prevention strategy for youth exposed to violence. Journal of Preventive Medicine 100 (2017) 235 – 242

Reidy,  D.E., Ball, B.,  Houry, D., Holland, K.M., Valle, L.A., Kearns, M.C., Marshall, K.J. and Rosenbluth, B. (2016).  In Search of Teen Dating Violence Typologies. https://kundoc.com/queue/pdf-in-search-of-teen-dating-violence-typologies-.html

Griggs, M. and Fong, J. This Youth Advocate and Father Empowers Men to Define and Build Healthy Relationships. Yes! Magazine: Powerful Ideas, Practical Actions http://www.yesmagazine.org/for-teachers/teacher-stories/this-youth-advocate-and-father-empowers-young-men-to-define-and-build-healthy-relationships, posted February 1, 2016.

Ball, B., Holland, K., Marshall, K., Lippy, C., Jain, S., Souders, K. and Westby, R. (2015). Implementing a Targeted Teen Dating Abuse Prevention Program: Challenges and Successes Experienced by Expect Respect® Facilitators. Journal of Adolescent Health 56 (2015) S40-S46 http://www.jahonline.org/article/S1054-139X(14)00283-3/abstract

Freeman, S.A., Rosenbluth, B. & Cotton, L. (2013). “Teen Dating Abuse: Recognition and Interventions.” NASN School Nurse, Vol. 28, Number 2, March 2013, National Association of School Nurses.  https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/1942602X12469410

Ball, B. Teten, A., Noonan, R., Valle, L., Hamburger, M. & Rosenbluth, B. (2012) Expect Respect® Support Groups: Preliminary Evaluation of a Dating Violence Prevention Program for At-Risk Youth. Violence Against Women published online 7 August 2012, Sage https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22872708

Ball, B. & Rosenbluth, B. (2010). Where Teens Live: Taking an Ecological Approach to Dating Violence Prevention. In L. Lockhart & F. Danis (Eds.). Domestic Violence: Intersectionality and Culturally Competent Practice, pp. 369-399. New York: Columbia University Press. See: http://cup.columbia.edu/book/domestic-violence/9780231140270

Rosenbluth, B., Whitaker, D., Valle, L.A., & Ball, B. (2010). Integrating Strategies for Bullying, Sexual Harassment and Dating Violence Prevention: The Expect Respect® Elementary School Project. In D. Espelage and S. Swearer (Eds.). Bullying in North American Schools. New York: Taylor and Francis. See: http://www.amazon.com/Bullying-American-Schools-Dorothy-Espelage/dp/0415806550

Ball, B., Kerig, P. & Rosenbluth, B. (2009). “Like a Family But Better Because You Can Actually Trust Each Other.” The Expect Respect® Dating Violence Prevention Program For At-Risk Youth.  Health Promotion Practice, 45S-58S. http://hpp.sagepub.com/content/10/1_suppl/45S.abstract

Clinton-Sherrod, A.M., Morgan-Lopez, A.A., Gibbs, D., Hawkins, S.R., Hart, L., Ball, B., Irvin, N., & Littler, N. (2009). Factors contributing to the effectiveness of four school-based sexual violence interventions. Health Promotion Practice. See:  http://hpp.sagepub.com/content/10/1_suppl/19S.abstract

Noonan, R., Emshoff, J.G., Moos, A., Armstrong, M., Weinberg, J., Ball, B. (2009). Adoption, adaptation, and fidelity of implementation of sexual violence prevention programs. Health Promotion Practice. See: http://hpp.sagepub.com/content/10/1_suppl/59S.abstract

Teten, A. L., Ball, B., Valle, L.A., Noonan, R., & Rosenbluth, B. (2009). Considerations for the Definition, Measurement, Consequences, and Prevention of Dating Violence Victimization among Adolescent Girls. Women’s Health, 18(7), 932 – 927. See: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19575691

Rosenbluth, B., Sanchez, E., Whitaker, D. J., & Valle, L. A. (2004) The Expect Respect® Project: Preventing Bullying and Sexual Harassment in Elementary Schools.  In P. Smith, D. Pepler, & K. Rigby (Eds.). Bullying in Schools: How Successful Can Interventions Be? Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press. https://www.cambridge.org/core/books/bullying-in-schools/46B3B41EAD0749B7B0FDEFADF3079EDA

Whitaker D.J., Rosenbluth, B., Valle, L.A., & Sanchez, E. (2004). Expect Respect®: A School-based Intervention to Promote Awareness and Effective Responses to Bullying and Sexual Harassment. In Bullying in American Schools. In D.L Espelage & S. M. Swearer (Eds.). A Social-Ecological Perspective on Prevention and Intervention, pg. 327-350. New York, NY: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. http://www.amazon.com/Bullying-American-Schools-Social-Ecological-Intervention/dp/0805845607

Meraviglia, M., Becker, H., Rosenbluth, B., Sanchez, E., & Robertson, T. (2003). The Expect Respect® Project: Creating a Positive Elementary School Climate. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 18 (11), 1347-1360. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19774770

Rosenbluth, B. (2001). Love—All That and More: A Six-Session Curriculum & 3-Video Series On Healthy Relationships For Youth  & Young Adults. Seattle, WA: Center for the Prevention of Sexual and Domestic Violence. http://www.hrmvideo.com/resources/Dating_for_Real6.pdf

Sanchez, E, Robertson, T, Lewis, C., Rosenbluth, B., Bohman, T., & Casey, D. (2001). Preventing Bullying and Sexual Harassment in Elementary Schools: The Expect Respect® Model. In R. Geffner, M.Loring, & C. Young (Eds.). Bullying Behavior: Current Issues, Research, and Interventions. Haworth Maltreatment & Trauma Press. Co-published simultaneously as Journal of Emotional Abuse, 2, (2/3), 157-180. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1300/J135v02n02_10