August 17, 2015 at 6:37 pm

Shorey Gets Grant for Sexual Assault Interventions Study

Dr. Ryan Shorey, Assistant Professor of Psychology at Ohio University, received a 12-month American Psychological Foundation Visionary Grant to support his project on “Examining the Efficacy of Three Interventions for Sexual Assault: A Preliminary Randomized Controlled Trial.”

Dr. Ryan Shorey

Dr. Ryan Shorey

The American Psychological Foundation Visionary Grants seek to seed innovation through supporting research, education and intervention projects and programs that use psychology to solve social problems in the following priority areas: Understanding and fostering the connection between behavior and physical health to ensure well-being; Reducing stigma and prejudice to promote unity and harmony; Understanding and preventing violence to create a safer, more humane world; Supporting programs that address the long-term psychological needs of individuals and communities in the aftermath of disaster.

Abstract: Sexual assault is a serious and prevalent problem on college campuses. Each year, approximately 30 percent of college women will experience sexual assault. Surprisingly, efforts at reducing male-perpetrated sexual assault have received little empirical attention. One target that has been advocated to prevent sexual assault, but that has yet to be investigated, is reducing alcohol use. This is particularly important as research demonstrates alcohol precedes up to 75 percent of all sexual assaults. Moreover, it has been proposed that sexual assault interventions that target multiple risk factors would produce the most benefit. Thus, it is likely that men who receive a sexual-assault specific intervention (e.g., Bystander/Social Norms intervention), in addition to an alcohol intervention, would evidence the most benefit. Thus, the present proposal aims to conduct a randomized controlled trial with college men to determine whether a group-based, brief motivational intervention for alcohol plus a brief, group-based Bystander/Social Norms intervention for sexual assault reduces alcohol use, rape myth acceptance, unhealthy sexual norms, and sexual assault perpetration, and increases bystander behavior, to a larger degree than the alcohol intervention alone, the Bystander/Social Norms intervention alone, and a wait-list control condition. If effective, this combined intervention carries the potential to prevent sexual assault and numerous other alcohol-related consequences.

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