Describing youth as actionists for peer sexual violence prevention: correlates of opportunity to act

View author details View Less
  • 1 Rutgers University, , USA
  • | 2 University of Nebraska-Lincoln, , USA
  • | 3 University of New Hampshire, , USA
Restricted access
Get eTOC alerts
Rights and permissions Cite this article

Objective:

An emerging prevention strategy to reduce peer sexual violence among adolescents is bystander training (that is, actionism). The situational-cognitive model of actionism describes key variables that may promote action, the first of which is detecting the opportunity to help. The purpose of this study was to examine this first stage of action to better understand youth who report opportunity to respond to situations of sexual violence.

Method:

The current cross-sectional study examined a measure of youth bystander opportunity in a baseline sample of youth in school grades 7–10 in the Great Plains region of the US (N=2,225). Students indicated whether they witnessed four situations related to risk of peer sexual violence.

Results:

Opportunities for actionism varied based on the type of situation. Opportunities to intervene were most common for situations involving unwanted touching and sexual rumours. Older youth, girls and youth with self-reported risk factors such as alcohol use and internalising symptoms were more likely to report opportunities for actionism.

Discussion:

Further study of bystander opportunity and correlates of bystander opportunity could help better tailor prevention approaches to provide practice in strategies that are based on the range of opportunities which particular groups of youth may be most likely to encounter.

  • Banyard, V.L. and Moynihan, M.M. (2011) Variation in bystander behavior related to sexual and intimate partner violence prevention: correlates in a sample of college students, Psychology of Violence, 1(4): 287. doi: 10.1037/a0023544

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Banyard, V.L., Eckstein, R.P. and Moynihan, M.M. (2010) Sexual violence prevention: the role of stages of change, Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 25(1): 11135. doi: 10.1177/0886260508329123

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Banyard, V.L., Moynihan, M.M., Cares, A.C. and Warner, R. (2014) How do we know if it works? Measuring outcomes in Bystander-focused abuse prevention on campuses, Psychology of Violence, 4(1): 10115. doi: 10.1037/a0033470

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Banyard, V., Edwards, K., Greenberg, P., Waterman, E., Jones, L. and Mitchell, K.J. (2021, under review) Helping and harming: understanding the differences between actionists and unhelpful bystanders among youth reacting to peer sexual violence.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Banyard, V., Edwards, K., Jones, L. and Mitchell, K. (2020a) Poly-strengths and peer violence perpetration: what strengths can add to risk factor analyses, Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 49(3): 73546. doi: 10.1007/s10964-020-01197-y

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Banyard, V., Mitchell, K.J., Waterman, E.A., Rizzo, A.J. and Edwards, K.M. (2020b) Context matters: reactive and proactive bystander action to prevent sexual and dating violence in high schools, Journal of School Violence, 19(4): 499511. doi: 10.1080/15388220.2020.1752221

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Barker, G.T., Ricardo, C. and Nascimento, M. (2007) Engaging Men and Boys in Changing Gender-based Inequity in Health: Evidence from Programme Interventions, Geneva: World Health Organization.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bovill, H. and White, P. (2020) Ignorance is not bliss: a UK study of sexual and domestic abuse awareness on campus, and correlations with confidence and positive action in a bystander program, Journal of Interpersonal Violence, doi: 10.1177/0886260520916267

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Brush, L.D. and Miller, E. (2019) Trouble in paradigm: ‘gender transformative’ programming in violence prevention, Violence Against Women, 25(14): 163556. doi: 10.1177/1077801219872551

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bush, H.M., Coker, A.L., DeGue, S., Clear, E.R., Brancato, C.J. and Fisher, B.S. (2019) Do violence acceptance and bystander actions explain the effects of Green Dot on reducing violence perpetration in high schools?, Journal of Interpersonal Violence, Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1177/0886260519888206

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Campbell, E.M. and Smalling, S.E. (2013) American Indians and bullying in schools, Journal of Indigenous Social Development, 2(1): 115.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Casey, E.A., Lindhorst, T. and Storer, H.L. (2017) The Situational–cognitive model of adolescent bystander behavior: modeling bystander Decision-making in the context of bullying and teen dating violence, Psychology of Violence, 7(1): 33. doi: 10.1037/vio0000033

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2014) Youth risk behavior surveillance – United States, 2013, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report Surveillance Summaries, 63(SS04): 1168. https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss6304a1.htm

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Coker, A.L., Bush, H.M., Clear, E.R., Brancato, C.J. and McCauley, H.L. (2020) Bystander program effectiveness to reduce violence and violence acceptance within sexual minority male and female high school students using a cluster RCT, Prevention Science, 21(3): 43444. doi: 10.1007/s11121-019-01073-7

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Coker, A.L., Cook-Craig, P.G., Williams, C.M., Fisher, B.S., Clear, E.R., Garcia, L.S. and Hegge, L.M. (2011) Evaluation of Green Dot: an active bystander intervention to reduce sexual violence on college campuses, Violence Against Women, 17(6): 77796, https://doi.org/10.1177/1077801211410264. doi: 10.1177/1077801211410264

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cox, P.J., Lang, K.S., Townsend, S.M. and Campbell, R. (2010) The rape prevention and education (RPE) theory model of community change: connecting individual and social change, Journal of Family Social Work, 13(4): 297312. doi: 10.1080/10522158.2010.492494

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • DeGue, S., Valle, L.A., Holt, M.K., Massetti, G.M., Matjasko, J.L. and Tharp, A.T. (2014) A systematic review of primary prevention strategies for sexual violence perpetration, Aggression and Violent Behavior, 19(4): 34662, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.avb.2014.05.004.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Eaton, D.K., Kann, L., Kinchen, S., Shanklin, S.L., Flint, K.H., Hawkins, J., Harris, W.A., Lowry, R., McManus, T., Chyen, D. et al. (2012) Youth risk behavior surveillance – United States, 2011, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report Surveillance Summaries, 61(SS04): 1162. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss6104a1.htm.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Edwards, K.M. and Banyard, V.L. (2018) Preventing sexual violence among adolescents and young adults, in Adolescent Dating Violence, Cambridge, MA: Elsevier, pp 41535.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Edwards, K.M., Banyard, V.L., Rizzo, A. and Greenberg, P. (2021) Scope and correlates of high school youths’ exposure to dating and sexual violence prevention initiatives, Journal of Community Psychology, 116. doi: 10.1002/jcop.22507

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Edwards, K.M., Banyard, V., Waterman, E.A., Mitchell, K.J., Jones, L.M. and Mercer Kollar, L.M. (2021, under review) Evaluating the impact of a youth-led interpersonal violence prevention program: youth leadership retreat outcomes.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Edwards, K.M., Banyard, V.L., Sessarego, S.N., Stanley, L.R., Mitchell, K.J., Eckstein, R.P., Rodenhizer, K.A.E. and Leyva, C.P. (2017) Measurement tools to assess relationship abuse and sexual assault prevention program effectiveness among youth, Psychology of Violence, 8(5): 53745. doi: 10.1037/vio0000151

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Edwards, K.M., Rodenhizer-Stämpfli, K.A. and Eckstein, R.P. (2015) Bystander action in situations of dating and sexual aggression: a mixed methodological study of high school youth, Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 44(12): 232136. doi: 10.1007/s10964-015-0307-z

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Espelage, D.L., Hong, J.S., Rinehart, S. and Doshi, N. (2016) Understanding types, locations, and perpetrators of Peer-to-peer sexual harassment in US middle schools: a focus on sex, racial, and grade differences, Children and Youth Services Review, 71: 17483. doi: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2016.11.010

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Evans, C.B., Smokowski, P.R., Rose, R.A., Mercado, M.C. and Marshall, K.J. (2019) Cumulative bullying experiences, adolescent behavioral and mental health, and academic achievement: an integrative model of perpetration, victimization, and bystander behavior, Journal of Child and Family Studies, 28(9): 241528. doi: 10.1007/s10826-018-1078-4

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Fenton, R. and Jones, C. (2017) An exploratory study on the beliefs about gender-based violence held by incoming undergraduates in England, Journal of Gender-based Violence, 1(2): 14767. doi: 10.1332/239868017X15090095609822

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Fenton, R.A. and Mott, H.L. (2018) Evaluation of the intervention initiative: a bystander intervention program to prevent violence against women in universities, Violence and Victims, 33(4): 64562. doi: 10.1891/0886-6708.VV-D-16-00074

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Fenton, R.A., Mott, H.L., McCartan, K. and Rumney, P. (2016) A review of evidence for bystander intervention to prevent sexual and domestic violence in universities. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/515634/Evidence_review_bystander_intervention_to_prevent_sexual_and_domestic_violence_in_universities_11April2016.pdf.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Foubert, J.D. and Bridges, A.J. (2017) Predicting bystander efficacy and willingness to intervene in college men and women: the role of exposure to varying levels of violence in pornography, Violence Against Women, 23(6): 692706. doi: 10.1177/1077801216648793

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • George, W.H. and Stoner, S.A. (2000) Understanding acute alcohol effects on sexual behavior, Annual Review of Sex Research, 11(1): 92124. https://doi.org/10.1080/10532528.2000.10559785

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hoxmeier, J.C., O’Connor, J. and McMahon, S. (2018) Undergraduate students as bystanders to sexual violence risks: differences in reported intervention opportunities and behaviors by racial identity, Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 36(9–10): 466889. doi: 10.1177/0886260518790593

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) and Instituto Promundo (2007) Engaging men and boys to achieve gender equality: how can we build on what we have learned? https://promundoglobal.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Engaging-Men-and-Boys-to-Achieve-Gender-Equality-How-Can-We-Build-on-What-We-Have-Learned.pdf.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kann, L., McManus, T., Harris, W.A., Shanklin, S.L., Flint, K.H., Queen, B., Lowry, R., Chyen, D., Whittle, L. and Thornton, J. (2018) Youth risk behavior surveillance – United States, 2017, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report Surveillance Summaries, 67(8): 1. doi: 10.15585/mmwr.mm6701a1

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Latane, B. and Darley, J.M. (1968) Group inhibition of bystander intervention in emergencies, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 10(3): 215. doi: 10.1037/h0026570

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Malamuth, N.M. (2018) ‘Adding fuel to the fire’? Does exposure to Non-consenting adult or to child pornography increase risk of sexual aggression?, Aggression and Violent Behavior, 41: 7489. doi: 10.1016/j.avb.2018.02.013

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Miller, E., Jones, K.A., Ripper, L., Paglisotti, T., Mulbah, P. and Abebe, K.Z. (2020) An athletic coach-delivered middle school gender violence prevention program: a cluster randomized clinical trial, Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics, 174(3): 2419. doi: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2019.5217

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Miller, E., Tancredi, D.J., McCauley, H.L., Decker, M.R., Virata, M.C.D., Anderson, H.A., O’Connor, B. and Silverman, J.G. (2013) One-year follow-up of a coach-delivered dating violence prevention program: a cluster randomized controlled trial, American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 45(1): 10812. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2013.03.007

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Moynihan, M.M., Banyard, V.L., Cares, A.C., Potter, S.J., Williams, L.M. and Stapleton, J.G. (2015) Encouraging responses in sexual and relationship violence prevention: what program effects remain 1 year later?, Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 30(1): 11032. doi: 10.1177/0886260514532719

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ngo, Q.M., Veliz, P.T., Kusunoki, Y., Stein, S.F. and Boyd, C.J. (2018) Adolescent sexual violence: prevalence, adolescent risks, and violence characteristics, Preventive Medicine, 116: 6874. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2018.08.032

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Orchowski, L.M. (2019) ‘Trouble in paradigm’ and the social norms approach to violence prevention, Violence Against Women, 25(14): 167281. doi: 10.1177/1077801219872561

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Orchowski, L.M., Berkowitz, A., Boggis, J. and Oesterle, D. (2016) Bystander intervention among college men: the role of alcohol and correlates of sexual aggression, Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 31(17): 282446, https://doi.org/10.1177/0886260515581904.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Peguero, A.A., Ovink, S.M. and Li, Y.L. (2016) Social bonding to school and educational inequality: race/ethnicity, dropping out, and the significance of place, Sociological Perspectives, 59(2): 31744. doi: 10.1177/0731121415586479

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Prochaska, J.O., Redding, C.A. and Evers, K.E. (2015) ‘The transtheoretical model and stages of change’, in: K. Glanz, B.K. Rimer, and K. Viswanath (eds.) Health Behavior: Theory, Research, and Practice. New York: Wiley, pp. 12548.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Reyes, H.L.M., Foshee, V.A., Tharp, A.T., Ennett, S.T. and Bauer, D.J. (2015) Substance use and physical dating violence: the role of contextual moderators, American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 49(3): 46775. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2015.05.018

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ricardo, C. and Verani, F. (2010) Engaging Men and Boys in Gender Equality and Health: A Global Toolkit for Action, New York: UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Rothman, E.F., Edwards, K.M., Rizzo, A.J., Kearns, M. and Banyard, V. (2019) Perceptions of community norms and youths’ reactive and proactive dating and sexual violence bystander action, American Journal of Community Psychology, 63(1–2): 12234. doi: 10.1002/ajcp.12312

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Shorey, R.C., Stuart, G.L., McNulty, J.K. and Moore, T.M. (2014) Acute alcohol use temporally increases the odds of male perpetrated dating violence: a 90-day diary analysis, Addictive Behaviors, 39(1): 36568. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2013.10.025

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Steele, C.M. and Josephs, R.A. (1990) Alcohol myopia: its prized and dangerous effects, American Psychologist, 45(8): 92133. doi: 10.1037/0003-066X.45.8.921

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Waterman, E.A., Edwards, K.M., Beaulieu, A.E. and Banyard, V.L. (2020) Who sees opportunity to help? A prospective study on adolescents’ detection of intervention opportunities in situations of sexual and dating violence, Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 37(10–11): 284362. https://doi.org/10.1177/0265407520940415

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wright, L.A., Zounlome, N.O. and Whiston, S.C. (2018) The effectiveness of Male-targeted sexual assault prevention programs: a meta-analysis, Trauma, Violence, & Abuse, 21(5): 859869. doi: 10.1177/1524838018801330

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Zinzow, H.M., Thompson, M.P., Goree, J., Fulmer, C.B., Greene, C. and Watts, H.A. (2018) Evaluation of a college sexual violence prevention program focused on education, bystander intervention, and alcohol risk reduction, College Student Affairs Journal, 36(2): 11025. doi: 10.1353/csj.2018.0019

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Zozula, C., Costello, B.J. and Anderson, B.J. (2018) Self-control, opportunity, and college students’ bystander intervention in sexually coercive situations, Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 36(11–12): NP614465. doi: 10.1177/0886260518808858

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 1 Rutgers University, , USA
  • | 2 University of Nebraska-Lincoln, , USA
  • | 3 University of New Hampshire, , USA

Author’s note: Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Victoria Banyard, Associate Director, Center on Violence Against Women and Children, Rutgers University. Victoria.banyard@rutgers.edu

Content Metrics

May 2022 onwards Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 1 1 0
Full Text Views 35 35 35
PDF Downloads 26 26 26

Altmetrics

Dimensions