Rehearsing for real life: The impact of the InterACT Sexual Assault Prevention Program on self-reported likelihood of engaging in bystander interventions.

The interACT bystander intervention program increased self-reported likelihood of engaging in bystander interventions, but there were differences in the rate at which participants changed over time.

 

Summary: The study examined whether the interACT Sexual Assault Prevention Program increased self-reported likelihood of engaging in bystander interventions over time and whether gender, beliefs about perceived benefits of being an active bystander, and level of participation in the program were associated with rates of change.  The interACT program is an interactive, skills-building performance, with the purpose of training participants to engage in effective bystander interventions.  University undergraduate students (N=509) were administered a pretest, posttest, and 3-month follow-up test.  Findings indicated an increase in self-reported likelihood of engaging in bystander interventions, however, there were differences across groups.  No significant changes in perceived personal benefits were observed. Males and participants with lower ratings of perceived helpfulness of bystander interventions showed the most change in the likelihood of engaging in bystander behaviors, however, actively participating in the program did not affect the rate of change.  Furthermore, across all groups, there no differences between those that actively participated in the performance and those that merely observed the performance.  More research is needed to evaluate the impact of various forms of participation among audiences. 

 

Application: Findings indicated that by providing a positive, proactive role for participants, bystander interventions are effective.  Prevention programs may use the findings to support bystander intervention programs in local communities.   

 

Limitations: Long-term changes in actual bystander behaviors were not eval

Author: 
Ahrens, C. E., Rich, M. D., & Ullman, J. B.
Reprint Status: 
notinfile
Start Page: 
760
End Page: 
776
Journal/Periodical Name: 
Violence Against Women
Volume: 
17
Publication Date: 
2011