Sexual Violence Prevention and University Athletics: Can Foundational Education Improve Moral Engagement in Prevention Strategies?
Many high-profile reports of sexual assault have been connected to university athletic programs. Furthermore, athletes are perceived as leaders on campus. Consequently, not only should athletic programs be targeted, university athletes are well placed to be leaders in sexual violence prevention efforts on campus, such as in bystander intervention training (BIT). However, there have been few evaluations of BIT with university athletes. Furthermore, research has not explored the additional effects of foundational education on BIT. Therefore, the current study evaluated an online sexual violence prevention program with university athletes who were randomly assigned to one of three groups: (1) a group that received BIT, (2) a group that received foundational education plus BIT, and (3) a control group. Participants were surveyed over three waves on (1) alcohol and consent knowledge; (2) sexual violence knowledge; (3) moral disengagement; (4) rape myth acceptance; (5) consent beliefs and behaviours; and (6) bystander intentions. It was hypothesized group 2 would have more positive changes than groups 1 and 3 towards sexual violence prevention. Furthermore, it was expected the relationship between moral disengagement and bystander intentions would be moderated by foundational education. At pre-test, foundational education was a moderator of moral disengagement on bystander attitudes, R2 = .33, F(7, 63) = 4.48, p < .001 At post-test, group 2 did not have significantly better outcomes than groups 1 or 3. However, expected changes were revealed over time for group 1 in moral disengagement (U = 50.00, z = -2.02, p = .045, r = -.37) and bystander attitudes (U = 142.50, z = 2.18, p = .03, r = .40) and for group 2 in alcohol and consent knowledge (U = 2.00, z = -2.921, p = .002, r = -.73), positive consent attitudes (U = 48.50, z = 2.39, p = .01, r = .60) and bystander attitudes (U = 45.50, z = 2.05, p = .04, r = .51). Group 3 experienced no significant changes across timepoints. Future research should continue exploring the additive effects of foundational education on BIT and strategies that can foster participant engagement in online sexual violence prevention programs.
Sexual Violence Prevention, Bystander Intervention, Consent
Master of Arts (M.A.)