Alcohol is a primary risk factor for sexual assault, and alcohol use and sexual assault are significant problems on college campuses. Surprisingly, no substantive sexual assault interventions for college men have rigorously targeted alcohol use as a risk factor. The proposed research will therefore develop a new intervention that integrates evidence-based alcohol intervention strategies and promising sexual assault prevention strategies with the goal of decreasing sexual aggression among men who report heavy drinking;a particularly high risk group. Following a Stage 1A and 1B model, the development of this intervention is being guided by theory and empirical research regarding the role of alcohol as a risk factor for sexual aggression, as well as empirically-based approaches to reducing alcohol use and sexual assault among college men. The newly developed approach will informed by our promising skills-based sexual assault prevention program that targets attitudes and behaviors that increase proclivity for violence and encourages men to engage in proactive bystander behavior when witnessing inappropriate dating behavior among their peers. The newly developed approach will also include an individual Brief Motivational Interview (BMI), which has been identified as the most efficacious individual-level intervention for reducing collegiate alcohol abuse. These intervention components will be revised to have a specific focus on the role of alcohol in aggression. In the Development Phase, we will revise and integrate the existing alcohol intervention and sexual assault prevention program manuals through informant interviews, focus groups and an open pilot trial. In the Pilot Study Phase, we will conduct a randomized controlled pilot trial with a sample of 90 college men who report heavy drinking to demonstrate the feasibility and acceptability of the proposed intervention. In the Revision Phase, we will conduct exit interviews, and revise the intervention, recruitment and training procedures in anticipation of preparing an R01 application to test the efficacy of the intervention in a larger clinical trial. Results of this research are expected to inform the development of integrated sexual assault and alcohol interventions that can be modified for other high-risk groups, and widely disseminated and maintained on college campuses.

Public Health Relevance

Alcohol use and sexual assault are significant problems on college campuses. Alcohol use is an especially salient risk factor for sexual assault;however, sexual assault prevention for college men has yet to rigorously target alcohol use as a risk factor. Accordingly, this study will merge a promising sexual assault prevention program with a brief motivational intervention for alcohol, and revise the protocols to create a new integrated intervention that targets the role of alcohol in sexual aggression among men who engage in heavy drinking;a particularly high risk group.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Planning Grant (R34)
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Health Services Research Review Subcommittee (AA)
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Chiapella, Page
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Rhode Island Hospital
United States
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