141st APHA Annual Meeting

In This section

Positive bystander behavior change on campus: Implementation and outcome evaluation from a bystander intervention to prevent intimate partner violence at a large public university

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 9:10 AM - 9:30 AM

Robert Pleasants, PhD , Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Mariana Garrettson, MPH , Injury Prevention Research Center, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC
Kelli Raker, MA , Campus Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Between 20-25% of female undergraduates experience attempted or completed sexual assault while in college. Most prevention efforts to date have focused on individual-level prevention that may change individuals' attitudes toward rape but show limited behavior change. Bystander interventions offer promise for behavioral change by engaging students as allies who use positive actions during social situations to prevent sexual assault. Students at a large public university worked with staff and faculty to develop and evaluate a 4-hour bystander program called “One Act”. It was compared to an existing training called HAVEN, which focuses on response to survivors of violence. Participants of both programs took a pretest, one-week post-test, and two-month follow-up, which probed attitudes toward date rape, bystander self-efficacy, intention to act, and actual bystander behaviors. Most One Act participants attend as part of peer group trainings while all HAVEN participants were all self-selected (no group trainings). Approximately 450 students participated in One Act trainings and 400 students participated in HAVEN. Results show that both trainings were effective in increasing students' scores on attitudes toward date rape, self-efficacy, and intention to act at two months. One Act participants also reported significantly greater bystander behaviors at two months than HAVEN participants, despite HAVEN participants' greater self-selection. Thus, One Act was additionally successful in engaging students to initiate positive ally behaviors when presented with potentially dangerous interpersonal situations. Several characteristics of the program and its implementation and implications for the relevance of bystander interventions on college campuses will be discussed.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Public health or related education
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Differentiate the role of bystander interventions from other violence prevention efforts in reducing intimate partner violence on a college campus. Explain evaluation methods used in this study Discuss challenges to measuring community level social norms change in campus violence prevention efforts using bystander interventions Discuss preliminary evaluation findings on individual level participant measures from a bystander intervention at a large public university

Keywords: Violence Prevention, College Students

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I oversee the program that was evaluated in the research presented. I am principal investigator in a CDC/State of North Carolina-funded grant and a federal DOJ grant for violence prevention. I have presented nationally on violence prevention, including at APHA.
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.