Evaluation of a date rape prevention program for new students in a university setting

Cynthia Ann Lanier, The University of Texas School of Public Health


The purpose of this study was to design, implement and evaluate the effectiveness of a date rape prevention program among new students at Rice University. Six-hundred and fifteen new students were randomly assigned to one of eight residential colleges or dormitories. The distribution of students to each of the dormitories was carried out in accordance with a stratified random sampling procedure. The study population was divided into strata based on ethnicity, gender, geographical region, and academic major. The number of students randomly assigned to each of the eight dormitories was approximately 75. After this procedure was completed, each of the colleges was randomly selected to either the intervention or control group. A randomized pretest and posttest control group design was used to assess changes in attitudes, self-efficacy, and behavior with regard to date rape. All participants were given an anonymous pretest and posttest measuring attitudes, self-efficacy, and behavior immediately prior to and following the intervention. The intervention group attended the play Scruples, designed to promote date rape prevention, after which they were immediately posttested. After this initial posttest the intervention group also participated in an interactive group role-playing activity led by trained peer instructors. The control group was pretested and subject to the placebo intervention of a multiculturalism play and was posttested immediately afterwards. Later in the week this group saw the Scruples play only. Both control and intervention groups were sent a two month follow-up survey questionnaire, to measure any changes in attitudes, self-efficacy, and behavior over time. As hypothesized students who saw the play Scruples showed a change in attitudes immediately posttest but no difference in self-efficacy or behavior. The two month follow-up survey showed no change in attitudes, self-efficacy, or behavior. There was a difference at pretest in males and females attitudes, with males showing significantly more rape tolerant attitudes than females. Thus, the proposed research findings will provide a better understanding of the attitudes that perpetuate date rape, and will inform strategies for prevention programs.

Subject Area

Public health|Academic guidance counseling|Psychology|Experiments|Criminology|Womens studies

Recommended Citation

Lanier, Cynthia Ann, "Evaluation of a date rape prevention program for new students in a university setting" (1995). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9610031.