Multiple sexual violence prevention tools: Doses and boosters


Purpose: Sexual violence prevention programs on college campuses have proliferated in recent years. While research has also increased, a number of questions remain unanswered that could assist campus administrators in making evidence-based decisions about implementation of prevention efforts. To that end, the field of prevention science has highlighted the need to examine the utility of booster sessions for enhancing prevention education. The purpose of this paper is to examine how two methods of prevention delivery – small group educational workshops and a community-wide social marketing campaign (SMC) – worked separately and together to promote attitude change related to sexual violence among college students.

Design/methodology/approach: The two-part study was conducted at two universities. Participants were from successive cohorts of first year students and randomly assigned to participate in a bystander based in-person sexual violence prevention program or a control group. Participants were later exposed to a bystander based sexual violence prevention SMC either before or after a follow-up survey. Analyses investigated if attitudes varied by exposure group (program only, SMC only, both program and SMC, no prevention exposure).

Findings: Results revealed benefits of the SMC as a booster for attitude changes related to being an active bystander to prevent sexual violence. Further, students who first participated in the program showed enhanced attitude effects related to the SMC.

Originality/value: This is the first study to look at the combination of effects of different sexual violence prevention tools on student attitudes. It also showcases a method for how to investigate if prevention tools work separately and together.

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Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research


Emerald Publishing Limited

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