Holland, Kristin Marie
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This study is an evaluation of the iConsent program, a brief intervention designed to prevent dating violence and sexual violence among college students. The goals of the study were to evaluate the outcomes of iConsent, test the causative model, explain the mechanisms by which the intervention influences relationships, and evaluate the difference between the in-person (F-iConsent) and web-based (E-iConsent) program delivery methods. Students (n=248) in six Health and Wellness classes at the University of Georgia were randomized to one of three conditions (F-iConsent, E-iConsent, or control group) and completed a pre-test, post-test, and 3-month follow-up assessment. Participants also provided open-ended feedback about the program. After completion of quantitative data collection, two one-hour focus groups were conducted to explore participants’ responses to the program. Finally, a process evaluation was completed using program implementation and fidelity data. One-way analysis of covariance tests examined whether the program was effective in changing awareness, attitudes, beliefs, norms, perceived behavioral control, and consent behaviors. Mediational analyses were also conducted to examine whether changes in proximal outcomes mediated change in the distal behavioral outcome. The iConsent program demonstrated several positive results. At post-test, F-iConsent participants reported significantly increased awareness of consent and fewer beliefs in alcohol-sex disinhibitions compared to the control group, and E-iConsent participants reported significantly fewer attitudes accepting of rape compared to F-iConsent participants. These effects were not sustained at follow-up. The most salient result is the impact that F-iConsent had on men’s behaviors. Men in the F-iConsent group reported significantly fewer indirect consent behaviors at post-test than E-iConsent and control group men. At follow-up, the difference between F-iConsent and E-iConsent men remained significant and was more pronounced, suggesting that there is a beneficial component to participation in the in-person version of the program for men on the important behavioral outcome of obtaining consent directly. Mediational analyses were significant only for men and revealed that F-iConsent men compared to E-iConsent men exhibited fewer indirect consent behaviors at follow-up after incorporation of proximal outcome changes into the analytic models, further highlighting the value of the in-person program. Implications of these and other detailed findings are presented.