Evaluation of an innovative approach to sexual violence bystander training for student-athletes: leveraging coaches as key influencers
Bowman, Chelsey Elizabeth
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Given high rates of sexual violence on college campuses, prior research has identified bystander training as a promising prevention strategy. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has called upon athletic departments and student-athletes to be campus leaders in sexual violence prevention. There is a lack of research on optimal ways to engage coaches and student-athletes in sustainable sexual violence bystander prevention efforts. This study examines the efficacy of an innovative bystander prevention program in which coaches were co-facilitators. Student-athletes and coaches from one Division I university were randomized to either receive the bystander prevention program from a facilitator and their coach with their team or from two facilitators with other same-sex teams. Student-athletes completed measures prior to training and at least two months following the training. Data from student-athletes was analyzed using MANOVA, and data from coaches was analyzed using paired sample t-tests. Student-athletes (n= 133) and coaches (n= 5) completed pre- and post-intervention assessments, which measured knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors related to sexual violence. Results demonstrated that the student-athletes’ knowledge, attitude, and behaviors did not differ at follow-up depending on delivery method. Regardless of delivery method, there were no significant differences in student-athletes' knowledge, attitude, and behaviors from pre- to post-intervention. The small sample of coaches demonstrated a significant increase in knowledge from pre- to post-intervention. Results support previous findings that one-time interventions have not been found to lead to changes in attitudes and behaviors. The lack of differences between the groups suggests that utilizing coaches as co-facilitators of bystander prevention programs may be a promising strategy.