PI: Sarah McMahon &Judy L. Postmus The current application proposes to address research objective #2, Efficacy/Effectiveness research, for sexual violence, area (b). We propose a study that investigates the effectiveness of an innovative, peer education theater model that delivers multi-dosage primary prevention to incoming college students. The proposed study will assess its longitudinal impact on behavioral intent and actual behaviors related to sexual violence and bystander intervention. The intervention under study in the proposal is an innovative, peer education, theater intervention program called SCREAM Theater (Students Challenging Realities and Educating Against Myths) that has demonstrated success in changing attitudes and behaviors related to sexual violence in exploratory studies. The model is supported by the Theory of Planned Behavior and is carefully constructed to address the five step process of becoming a bystander developed originally by Latane and Darley (1970) and more recently updated by Burn (2009). The results of the study will be translated into easily accessible materials to be disseminated to other colleges and universities, including a multi-dose curriculum and evaluation guide.
The specific aims of this proposal are to: 1) Determine whether the SCREAM Theater intervention positively impacts students attitudes and behaviors related to sexual violence, including proclivity to perpetrate, both short term and longitudinally;2) Determine whether the SCREAM Theater intervention positively impacts students'behavioral intentions to intervene as a bystander as well as actual bystander behaviors, both short term and longitudinally;and 3) Identify whether dosage is related to attitudinal and behavioral change. The proposed project will use a quasi-experimental, longitudinal design to determine the impact of a peer education theater intervention (SCREAM Theater) on undergraduate student attitudes and behaviors related to sexual violence and bystander intervention. Students will be assigned to either an experimental group (receiving 3 doses of the intervention) or a comparison group (receiving one dose only) and will be assessed five times over an 18 month period. Out of 4,700 students that attend New Student orientation, we will recruit at least 2,000 students to participate. A total of 700 students will be randomly assigned to a comparison group (receiving 1 dose) and 1,300 assigned to the experimental group (receiving 3 doses). Stratified random sampling procedures will be used and will include oversampling of the moderating variables. The instruments for this proposal are theoretically grounded and have good reliability. The independent variable for this study includes the bystander education received through SCREAMing to Prevent Violence (1 dose or 3 doses). The dependent variables include the three determinants of behavior from the Theory of Planned Behavior (attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control) as well as the actual bystander behavior, proclivity to perpetrate, and past perpetration. We will also include a measure on rape myth acceptance to measure attitudes about sexual violence. The moderating variables for this study includes gender, membership on an athletic team or in a fraternity, knowing someone who had been sexually assaulted, own victimization or participation in an earlier sexual assault prevention program in their community.

Public Health Relevance

PI: Sarah McMahon &Judy L. Postmus It is widely demonstrated that rape is a major public health problem, occurring at epidemic proportions in our country and resulting in devastating consequences for victims as well as impacting families, communities, and society as a whole. As a result of this epidemic, decreasing the annual rate of rape or attempted rape, and reducing sexual assault other than rape are objectives of Healthy People 2010. In this proposal, we propose a study that investigates the effectiveness of an innovative, peer education theater model that delivers multi-dosage primary prevention to incoming college students. The intervention is based on a public health model and utilizes a community-based, universal prevention approach through bystander intervention. The proposed study will assess its longitudinal impact on behavioral intent and actual behaviors and will result in a curriculum guide that offers instructions for other community and university groups to replicate the intervention and the evaluation.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC)
Type
Research Project (R01)
Project #
5R01CE001855-03
Application #
8304108
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZCE1-FXR (05))
Project Start
2010-08-01
Project End
2014-07-31
Budget Start
2012-08-01
Budget End
2014-07-31
Support Year
3
Fiscal Year
2012
Total Cost
$244,064
Indirect Cost
$86,603
Name
Rutgers University
Department
Type
DUNS #
001912864
City
New Brunswick
State
NJ
Country
United States
Zip Code
08901
McMahon, Sarah; Allen, Christopher T; Postmus, Judy L et al. (2014) Measuring bystander attitudes and behavior to prevent sexual violence. J Am Coll Health 62:58-66