The commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) is an increasingly urgent problem for criminal justice systems in the United States. Despite the staggering individual and societal consequences of CSEC, evidence-based prevention and intervention programs are profoundly lacking.
The Boston-based My Life My Choice (MLMC) agency offers youth two different types of services. MLMC offers a 10-session program to youth who are identified as “at risk” for CSEC victimization and teaches other non-profit agencies throughout the U.S. to offer this curriculum in their regions. The curriculum is theory-based and was designed to educate youth about CSEC, how to recognize potential exploiters, and where to find support services. MLMC also offers youth intensive case management and survivor mentoring to exploited youth or those at “high-risk” for exploitation.
This study uses a quasi-experimental, mixed methods, longitudinal follow-up design. This research study will demonstrate whether the programs have a positive impact, identify which elements of the programs are most essential to youth, qualitatively explore the needs of youth who are exiting exploitation, and evaluate the cost effectiveness of programming.
Results published in Child Abuse & Neglect (2019) and Journal of Interpersonal Violence (2019).
REAL TALK: A Brief Intervention to Prevent Adolescent Dating Aggression Perpetration (funded by NIH and NIJ)
This is a study of the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of a brief motivational interview-style intervention for youth ages 15-19. The intervention takes place in the emergency departments and pediatric outpatient setting by a trained interventionist and follows an intervention manual developed by a team of dating abuse and brief intervention experts. We will compare changes in dating abuse-related knowledge, attitudes about the use of violence to resolve conflict, and dating abuse behavior (perpetration and/or victimization) from baseline to 3- and 6-month follow-up for those in the intervention and control group.
Results: accepted for publication.
This pilot study investigated potential changes in alcohol use patterns in 20 transgender patients who seek Hormone Therapy (HT) at The Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery (CTMS) at Boston Medical Center. Patients reported on their alcohol use for the six months prior to HT and six months after HT.
Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Trafficking Training Evaluation (internally funded)
Human trafficking (HT) is considered a serious criminal, social, and public health problem. One way to help victims and prevent HT might be to train paramedics and other emergency medical services personnel to recognize the signs that an individual may be experiencing trafficking. Our lab is collaborated with the Medical Director for Boston EMS, Dr. Sophia Dyer, and an internationally-recognized expert in human trafficking and emergency medicine physician, Dr. Hanni Stoklosa, to train EMS workers on HT. Our research lab designed a pre- and post-test to evaluate the training and are collecting data at baseline and 3-month follow-up for evaluation purposes.
Evaluation of One Love Escalation Workshop with US Navy (funded by the United States Department of Defense)
Dr. Rothman has just completed an evaluation of The Escalation Workshop by the One Love Foundation for the U.S. Department of Navy (September 2019). The workshop addresses bystander intervention behavior and attitudes about dating violence among adolescents, and has shown success when used among college-aged students. Using a randomized control trial study design, this study found positive effects on Navy sailors.
Evaluation of A Better Life (funded by the Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts)
Dr. Rothman’s team has partnered with The Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts on empowerment evaluation projects since 2005. Our immediate past project (2013-2017) evaluated a program designed by the Worcester Housing Authority called “A Better Life” (ABL). The ABL program aims to provide public housing residents with classes, case management, and other support to enable them to move into private stock housing. Results have been made available through interim evaluation reports, which you can find here: 2016 report, 2015 report.
Intimate Partner Violence, Opioid Use Disorder, and Rural Poverty in Vermont (funded by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation)
From 2019-2021 Dr. Rothman will work with Dr. Rebecca Stone of Suffolk University and Ms. Diane Kinney of the Circle domestic violence shelter in Washington County, Vermont to implement a community-based innovation that will improve access to opioid use disorder treatment for survivors of intimate partner violence. This project is part of the Interdisciplinary Research Leaders program.
Development of a Safe and Healthy Dating Online Class for Teenagers with Autism Spectrum Disorder (funded by Organization for Autism Research)
Dr. Rothman is collaborating with Dr. Megan Bair-Merritt and Dr. Sarabeth Broder-Fingert, both of Boston University School of Medicine, on the development of a new curriculum for teenagers ages 14-19 years old with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The class is designed to be delivered online to one parent and one youth with ASD in six sessions. The class will teach healthy dating and healthy relationship skills using interactive activities and discussion.
Parents Reactions to Child Exposure to Pornography
We know that there are children who accidentally or intentionally see pornography when they are very young–before the age of 12 years old. The social science literature lacks information about what those children experience when they view pornography and what their parents say or do when they find out that they children have seen pornography. This survey research study enrolled 259 parents who knew that their children had seen pornography before they were 12 years old and asked them a series of questions about how they reacted and why. The results were published in Academic Pediatrics.