The Effects of Bystander Programs on the Prevention of Sexual Assault across the College Years: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Abstract

Research on sexual assault prevention programs implemented with young people has largely failed to examine program effects between age groups. This systematic review and meta-analysis synthesizes data from 15 high quality studies (N= 6104) examining the effects of sexual assault prevention bystander programs on bystander efficacy, intentions, and intervention across the college years. Findings indicate bystander programs have a significant, desirable effect on all three outcomes. Effects on bystander intentions were significantly stronger among students in their first two years compared to those in their later years of college. There was no evidence of a significant difference in effects on bystander efficacy or intervention between these two groups. Implications and directions for future research are discussed.

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Acknowledgements

This research was supported by a grant from the Campbell Collaboration (CSR1.60). The authors would like to thank Emily Tanner-Smith for her valuable methodological input on this project.

Authors’ Contributions

HHK conceived of the study, participated in the design, data collection, and analysis for the study, and drafted the manuscript. RAM participated in the design and data collection for the study and drafted the manuscript. Both authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Funding

This research was supported by a grant from the Campbell Collaboration (CSR1.60).

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Correspondence to Heather Hensman Kettrey.

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As this research was a quantitative synthesis of publically available material, ethical approval from the authors’ Institutional Review Board was not required.

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Kettrey, H.H., Marx, R.A. The Effects of Bystander Programs on the Prevention of Sexual Assault across the College Years: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. J Youth Adolescence 48, 212–227 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-018-0927-1

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Keywords

  • Sexual assault
  • Bystander
  • Meta-analysis
  • Adolescence
  • College
  • Prevention