Title

Effects of bystander sexual assault prevention programs on promoting intervention skills and combatting the bystander effect: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Publication Date

1-1-2020

Document Type

Article

Department

Child and Adolescent Development

Publication Title

Journal of Experimental Criminology

DOI

10.1007/s11292-020-09417-y

Abstract

Objectives: Bystander sexual assault prevention programs encourage individuals to intervene when witnessing incidents or warning signs of violence. According to a popular skill acquisition model, witnesses to sexual assault must demonstrate the following to intervene: (1) notice the event, (2) identify the situation as warranting intervention, (3) take responsibility for acting, and (4) know strategies for helping. Methods: This systematic review and meta-analysis examined effects of bystander programs on the aforementioned skills and actual intervention behavior among adolescents and college students. Results: Robust variance estimation meta-analysis using a sample of 19 studies (N = 7920) revealed significant effects on identifying situations as warranting intervention and non-significant effects on noticing events, taking responsibility for acting, and knowing strategies for helping. Programs had a significant favorable effect on intervention behavior. Conclusions: Findings cast uncertainty around the proposed relationship between skills and intervention behavior. Future research should explore this relationship through causal modeling.

Funding Number

CSR1.60

Funding Sponsor

Campbell Collaboration

Keywords

Bystander, Meta-analysis, Prevention, Sexual assault

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