Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Committee Member

Jeffrey Kern

Number of Pages



Date rape is a widespread problem, especially among college-aged women. Date rape prevention programs have appeared on college campuses nationwide. However, the effectiveness of these programs to prevent date rape remains questionable. Studies addressing this issue have usually focused on changing students' thoughts about rape. A minority of studies have investigated the success of programs designed to change behaviors associated with rape. Even fewer studies have used the actual incidence of date rape as an outcome variable; The present study examined a date rape prevention program designed to improve women's sexual assertiveness skills and decrease their involvement in behaviors associated with rape via a two hour behavioral group prevention and compared its effectiveness to the more standard "attitude change" prevention. Participants completed pre-test measures immediately preceding the prevention group and completed four-week and five-month post-prevention assessments; There were four main hypotheses for this study. First, women in the behavioral condition would have a lower incidence of new victimizations, would show a reduction in risky dating behaviors and would improve prevention-related behaviors from pre-test to follow-up. Second, women in the behavioral condition would improve more than women in the attitude condition. Finally, history of victimization and alcohol use would moderate treatment success, such that previous victims would have lower treatment success; Two hundred and ten college women participated in the initial prevention group. One hundred and sixty-nine returned for the four-week follow-up and eighty-two returned for the five-month follow-up. The hypotheses were partially supported. There were no differences between the two prevention groups with regard to new victimizations. Participants in the behavioral group reduced their reported alcohol usage, risky dating behaviors, beliefs in rape myths, and increased their sexual assertiveness and sexually assertive self-statements from pre-test to the four-week follow-up. The changes were maintained at the five-month follow-up. Participants in the attitude group increased their sexual assertiveness, decreased their risky dating behaviors, and reduced their beliefs in rape myths from pre-test to the four-week follow-up. These changes were also maintained at the five-month follow-up; Women in the behavioral condition improved more than women in the attitude condition and those changes were maintained at the five-month follow-up. Participants were satisfied with treatment. Implications and suggestions for future studies are discussed.


Acquaintance Rape; Controlled; Date; Date Rape; Outcomes; Prevention; Rape; Rape Prevention; Sexual Assault; Women

Controlled Subject

Clinical psychology

File Format


File Size

5038.08 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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