Abstract: Predicting Bystander Behavior Among Collegiate Student-Athletes: What Factors Influence Positive and Negative Bystander Intervention (Society for Prevention Research 27th Annual Meeting)

153 Predicting Bystander Behavior Among Collegiate Student-Athletes: What Factors Influence Positive and Negative Bystander Intervention

Wednesday, May 29, 2019
Pacific A (Hyatt Regency San Francisco)
* noted as presenting author
Chelsey Bowman, M.Ed, Doctoral Student, Boston University, Boston, MA
Yara Tashkandi, BA, Undergraduate Research Assistant, Boston University, Boston, MA
Melissa Holt, PhD, Associate Professor, Boston University, Boston, MA
Introduction: Middle school students who participate in sports have increased odds of engaging in sexual violence perpetration, as demonstrated by Paper one. Research has also suggested that male collegiate student-athletes are more likely to engage in sexual violence perpetration. However, little research has examined how collegiate student-athletes respond to their teammates when they engage in sexual harassment or sexual violence perpetration. This reflects a critical gap in the literature, given understanding ways in which student-athletes respond to witnessing such situations has considerable implications for bystander interventions, which have been shown to be promising approaches to curbing sexual violence on college campuses. As such, in this evaluation study we examine: (1) factors that predict collegiate student-athletes’ engagement in positive and negative bystander behaviors before and after undergoing a sexual violence prevention program, and (2) what individual and contextual factors predict change in bystander behaviors.

Methods: The evaluation, which is funded by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), is taking place at one northeastern, Division I university. A total of 250 Division I, collegiate, male (n = 114) and female (n = 136) student-athletes completed pre-survey data in the fall of 2018 (35% response rate). Student-athletes represented 24 of the 25 varsity teams on campus. Student-athletes will be invited to participate in a post-survey in November 2018. Primarily research questions will be tested through regression analyses.

Results: Preliminary analyses exploring bivariate associations will be computed using t-tests and ANOVA’s. Next, regression analyses will be used to test whether rape myth acceptance, bystander self-efficacy, binge drinking, conformity to masculinity norms, team belongingness, coach-athlete relationship, and type of bystander prevention program predict bystander behaviors (both positive and negative) at each time point. To explore factors predicting changes in bystander behavior over time, mixed-effects regression models (MRM) will be run. We will run a different MRM for each hypothesized predictor of bystander behavior that is significant at the bivariate level. Note that results will be finalized by SPR, given the final grant report to the NCAA is due in January 2019.

Conclusions: Many collegiate student-athletes are well-known on- and off-campus, making them potentially salient leaders in sexual violence prevention. Understanding which factors influence collegiate student-athletes’ positive and negative bystander behavior can inform tailored prevention efforts by universities and athletic departments.