265533 Consenting to Sexual Activity: The Development and Psychometric Assessment of Dual Measures of Consent

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 5:00 PM - 5:15 PM

Kristen Jozkowski, PhD , Community Health Promotion, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR
Zoe Peterson, PhD , Department of Psychology, University of Missouri-St. Louis, St. Louis, MO
Stephanie Sanders, PhD , The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Background: Sexual assault prevention efforts focus on consent promotion as a mechanism to reduce assault, yet little is known about how college students' consent to sex and there are currently no measures available which assess students' consent. The current study aimed to better understand how college students' consent to sex via a systematic approach to develop validated measures of sexual consent.

Methods: This study integrated mixed methods via three Phases and two waves of data collection to develop two measures of consent. In Phase 1, qualitative data were collected from college students (n=185) to drive the design of quantitative measures aimed at assessing sexual consent at last event. In Phase 2, items were written for the closed-ended quantitative instrument and reviewed by a team of experts, educators, and clinicians. In Phase 3 a quantitative survey was administered to college students (n=660) which included the measures of consent developed from the Phase 1 data; the measures were assessed for their psychometric properties.

Results: Exploratory Factor Analyses were utilized to assess the two measures and resulted in five factors each for both consent scales. Both scales demonstrated high internal consistency reliability, gender differences and differences across relationship status (single v. relationship).

Conclusion: The two newly developed measures assess unique constructs of consent and demonstrate assessments of specific concepts. Such findings provide an important contribution to the field of sexual health as these measures can be used in future research to better understand sexual consent for the enhancement of sexual assault prevention education.

Learning Areas:
Other professions or practice related to public health
Public health or related education
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe internal and external conceptualizations of sexual consent 2. Describe how college students experience consent internally and express consent externally 3. Describe the psychometric process for assessing the validity and reliability of the internal and external consent scales.

Keywords: Sexual Assault, Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have a PhD in Health Behavior and extensive experience working in sexual health promotion and sexual assault prevention.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.