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Try out PMC Labs and tell us what you think. Learn More. Evidence suggests that interventions to engage bystanders in violence prevention increase bystander intentions and efficacy to intervene, yet the impact of such programs on violence remains unknown. Violence perpetration rates were lower among males attending the intervention campus. Implications of these for research and practice are discussed. Curbing campus crime and its negative tolls, especially the violence that has long plagued women at schools across the country, has been a long-standing interest of Congress.

Since the early s, in part promoted by both the advocacy and research communities, the federal government has taken actions to reduce campus violence. More recently, Congress enacted legislation specifically directed at the programming deed to reduce campus violence. Specific descriptions of the Green Dot bystander program used at the University of Kentucky UK are provided next with the study de and methodology explained.

This research fills a knowledge gap by providing data to address bystander efficacy as measured by a wide range of interpersonal violence, including both victimization and perpetration across three large college campuses. Bystander strategies engage others in prevention through increasing awareness of the nature and frequency of violence and behaviors to safely and effectively intervene to reduce the risk of violence.

Direct bystander tactics are stepping into a situation and stopping the violence. Distraction tactics involve diverting the attention of the potential aggressor and removing the potential victim from harm. One person might directly address the potential aggressor while another engages the potential victim. Delay tactics are those used after violence may have occurred; these also are characterized as reactive tactics and may involve providing support or finding resources for others experiencing violence.

Bystander training, then, involves engaging all persons as those who may witness see or hear a potentially violent event or are able to respond to a victim and thus prevent the violence or reduce its negative impact. As outlined below, researchers have recently provided evidence that bystander approaches may a reduce violence acceptance; b increase bystander willingness, efficacy, intentions, and behaviors; and c reduce violent victimization and perpetration.

Only one study has addressed the efficacy of bystander programs to change dating violence acceptance Coker et al. Banyard et al. Others now have confirmed this pattern in other college samples Amar et al. The ultimate question, then, is whether bystander interventions can change sexual violence and dating violence rates in the targeted college population using behavioral measures of both victimization and perpetration.

In the two bystander evaluation studies that have addressed this question, one study found a reduction in sexually violent perpetration by men Gidycz et al. No published study has as yet examined the effectiveness of bystander programs to reduce interpersonally violent victimization or perpetration rates in both women and men. Because it is not yet known whether increases in bystander behavior will translate into reduced risk of violence, measurement of the intended outcomes, including sexual violence and dating violence, is a critical component of evaluation research in this area Tharp et al.

The current study addresses this gap in the literature by examining the effect of the Green Dot college-based bystander intervention program on a range of self-reported interpersonally violent behaviors by both victimization and perpetration.

In this observational study, students attending the campus with the Green Dot bystander program intervention campus are compared with students attending one of two campuses without a bystander program. This college intervention and comparison study adds to the current body of research by including a large sample of students from three college campuses. Prior research has almost exclusively reported outcomes associated with bystander programs with a smaller of participants within one campus such that the generalizability of such findings may be limited.

A range of bystander intervention programs have been developed and implemented in high school and college settings Banyard et al. Dorothy J. The Green Dot curriculum seeks to empower potential bystanders to actively engage their peers in both reactive responses e. Briefly, the Green Dot training included two primary components. First, VIP staff provided min motivational speeches the Green Dot speech to students in introductory-level college courses and all students in UK, a one-credit hour course deed to help new students transition to university life. This speech introduced the concept of active bystanding, presented bystander intervention as a manageable and simple activity, motivated students to get involved in prevention, and told students about services and training available at the VIP Center.

Second, intensive Green Dot bystander training was implemented by VIP staff; the curriculum focused on preventing perpetration behavior by providing students with skills to safely and effectively use bystander behaviors. The intensive bystander training was conducted in groups of 20 to 25 students and took between 4 and 6 hr to complete. While this bystander training was voluntary, open to all students, and advertised campus-wide, the primary means by which students were recruited was through a Peer Opinion Leaders POLs strategy.

In this college setting, faculty, staff, students and resident assistants nominated POL students whom they believed were respected influential students. These students received a letter from the University Provost inviting them to attend bystander training and thanking them for their service to UK. As described elsewhere Coker et al. The purpose of the current study was to compare the frequency rates of violent victimization and perpetration in three colleges with and without the Green Dot bystander training intervention.

The frequency of violence among students attending UK, the campus with the Green Dot bystander intervention hereafter Interventionwas compared with the frequency of violence in two college campuses without bystander interventions hereafter Comparison. Analyses were planned to compare violence rates by campus Hypothesis 1 and by Green Dot training received Hypothesis 2.

We posited that if bystander programs increase bystander behaviors, which in turn reduce violence experienced, then the frequency rates of violent victimization and perpetration would be lower among students attending the Intervention campus versus Comparison campuses. Furthermore, training on the Intervention campus would reduce violence rates across the campus even among those not trained, with trained students reducing the risk of violence among those in the campus community. Because of this diffusion of the intervention effects across a campus community, training may not be directly associated with a reduction in violence rates.

Students recruited or opting into Green Dot training may be those with a personal history of violence or some other connection to the issue of interpersonal violence. Thus, we hypothesized the following:. Hypothesis 1: The frequency of violence victimization and perpetration would be lower among students attending the Intervention campus versus Comparison campuses. Hypothesis 2: Violence frequency would be lower among those individuals who received the Green Dot training relative to those who did not on the Intervention and Comparison campuses.

The current study utilizes an observational comparative de in which surveyed students attending the Intervention campus were compared with students attending two campuses without a bystander program. Identical online survey methods were utilized on all three campuses and data were collecting during the Spring term. The comparison college campuses were selected based on having a no currently implemented bystander intervention program, b similar campus size and demographic comparability to UK, and c faculty willing to be research collaborators. At each comparison, campus approximately 4, students were randomly sampled per school; at the intervention campus approximately 8, students were sampled.

Two days later, students were invited, via their university-ased address, to participate in the online survey. Students could opt out by clicking a link in theor ing or calling study staff if they did not wish to participate refusals. Reminder s were sent approximately every 3 days for the following 2 weeks. Students were instructed to click on the online survey link, read the study description and informed consent and decide if they wished to participate in the study. The institutional review board at each campus approved the respective research protocols; a waiver of written consent was granted.

At the end of the survey, local sexual violence and dating violence referral resources for each campus, and websites and toll-free phone s for service providers, were provided to all participants. Exposure to the Green Dot intervention was measured in two ways. First and corresponding with Hypothesis 1, intervention exposure was measured by attendance at the Intervention or Comparison campuses.

The comparison group for this analysis included 5, students reporting no Green Dot training independent of the college they attended; 4, attended one of the comparison campuses; and 1, attended UK but did not report receiving any Green Dot training. Participants were asked to report their own experiences with violent victimization and perpetration since the start of the academic year in the fall term approximately 9 months.

As shown in Table 1students were asked how frequently they had experienced any of the four types of violence as a victim or perpetrator: a unwanted or forced sex, b sexual harassment, c stalking, and d physical and psychological dating violence. To create a frequency measure for each type of violence and by victimization and perpetration, the responses were summed. Factor analyses with vari-max rotation indicated all items within each form of violence, conducted separately by victimization and perpetration, loaded on one factor with the following exceptions. The four items measuring sexual harassment and stalking loaded as one factor separately by victimization and perpetration.

Therefore, sexual harassment and stalking behaviors were grouped together. Table 1 provides the constructs and their source, the items, their response options, and the psychometric profile of the measures. Campus-specific demographic and crime data were used to evaluate the comparability of the three campuses see Table 2. To evaluate comparability of the three campuses, college-level differences in demographic attributes and crime statistics required by the Clery Act Table 2 were determined using test of proportions chi-square or means t tests for independent samples.

To determine differences among those completing the survey by Intervention versus Comparison sites, a wider range of individual socio-demographic attributes were compared Table 3 using test of proportions chi-square. Subsequent multivariate comparisons were adjusted for identified demographic differences e.

To address Hypothesis 1 violence would be lower among students attending the Intervention vs.

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Comparison campusesrates of violence among UK students were compared with Comparison campuses. Because Green Dot training may have a different impact among males and females, analyses were additionally stratified by sex. Across the three campuses, 15, students, aged 18 to 24, were invited to complete the online survey 7, on the intervention campus; 7, on the comparison campuses. Data from 4. The final sample represented Similarities between the entire student body from the Intervention and Comparison campuses were assessed using available demographic and crime statistics www.

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To determine the comparability of our sample with the full sample from which random samples were drawn by college, we compared the demographic data available for the Intervention and Comparison campuses see Table 2. Among the sample of 7, completing the survey, The proportion of females attending any of the three colleges was Next, we compared the demographic characteristics of students attending the Intervention versus Comparison campuses Table 3 ; those attending the intervention campus were more likely to be female, seniors, White race, in a fraternity or sorority, have lower parental education, and live together or are married.

In Table 4the for the evaluation of the Green Dot intervention at the campus level Intervention vs. Comparison campuses was presented for the four forms of interpersonal violence for all students and by sex. Two sets of MANCOVA models were used: a All four forms of interpersonal violence were included separately for victimization and perpetration, and b the total frequency measure summing the four forms of violence separately by victimization. As hypothesized, adjusted least square mean violent victimization frequency rates were lower in the Intervention than Comparison campuses. However, when looking specifically at the unwanted sex items, adjusted least square means were Differences in violence frequency rates between the Intervention and Comparison campuses were more pronounced for males than females.

The lower total violence frequency rates for both victimization and perpetration on the Intervention relative to Comparison campuses were ificant among males, but not among females. The lower rate of sexual harassment and stalking perpetration on the Intervention relative to Comparison campuses was statistically ificant among males, but not among females. Finally, the percent difference in adjusted least square means for sexual harassment and stalking victimization comparing the Intervention and Comparison campuses was Similarly, students in fraternities or sororities were over-represented in the intensive bystander trained group This finding was anticipated as both fraternities and sororities were targets of training as POLs.

Seniors were under-represented in the trained groups and represented We used the same analysis strategy MANCOVA to compare total violence frequency rates by training received among all students and again by sex. No ificant differences in the total violence perpetration rates were noted by training received for all students or by sex. Receiving Green Dot speeches alone relative to no Green Dot was not associated with differences in total violent victimization or perpetration rates for all students or by sex.

Green Dot is similar to existing bystander interventions, which a candidly present the risk of violence, the consequences of violence to the victim, family, and friends; b train students to identify situations that may potentially increase risk of dating violence or sexual violence; and c empower students to do what they can to safely and effectively address the situation by themselves or with others.

Green Dot differs from other programs with regard to how students are selected for the bystander training. This indicated that VIP met the theoretical threshold to begin to see diffusion of the intervention and associated impact on violence outcomes. This Green Dot training coverage at UK suggests that this program was widely implemented.

The current study found that the campus implementing Green Dot had lower rates of violence victimization and perpetration when compared with two college campuses without bystander intervention training. The lower rates were primarily a function of lower sexual harassment and stalking victimization and perpetration.

Similar findings were observed when comparing data from students who reported receiving Green Dot training compared with those not receiving it. These findings suggest that Green Dot training may have effects at the community level e.

When comparing the Intervention and Comparison campuses, lower stalking and sexual harassment victimization rates were found for both females and males, but lower perpetration of these behaviors was found only for males. Furthermore, because bystander behaviors are targeted toward reducing perpetration of violence, particularly among men, finding a reduction in violence perpetration among men is also suggestive of Green Dot efficacy.

This may be a function of limited study power as unwanted sex and physical dating violence victimization and especially perpetration were less frequently endorsed items.

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When comparing those receiving Green Dot training with non-trained students across the three colleges, lower violent victimization rates primarily stalking and sexual harassment were found among females, but not males.

Our finding of lower violent victimization rates among intensive bystander trained females versus males may be explained by the larger proportion of women trained of 2, surveyed intervention students, In addition, the efficacy of training may be greater for females than males because young women may more accurately perceive themselves to be at risk of sexual violence or dating violence and, therefore, see the value of training and may more rapidly incorporate the training messages to reduce their own risk by avoiding risky situations or effectively safety planning.

Although this study provides a look at the potential behavioral outcomes associated with this bystander intervention with a large sample at three campuses, the observational study de represents a ificant limitation. Campuses were not randomized to receive the intervention for two important reasons. The Green Dot bystander intervention began in and our measurement team was not in place until — In addition, the nature of the Green Dot bystander program makes randomization difficult.

This program was deed to engage students through their peer networks. Randomization would be voided as soon as students brought their training into their residence halls, classrooms, and other social communities. Without randomization to condition or assessment of baseline equivalency, it is possible that other characteristics between the campuses, rather than implementation of the intervention, explain the differences in violence rates.

To in part for observed differences, we controlled for demographic and risk behavior differences in the analyses. In addition, we conducted analyses comparing students at Intervention and Comparison campuses as well as comparing Green Dot trained and untrained students. While randomization of specific universities was not feasible for this study, it is strongly recommended for future research. An additional longitudinal study of students followed over time by university and by training received would provide better data to determine the temporal sequence of training received, changes in bystander efficacy, bystander behaviors, and violent victimization and perpetration.

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