Date of Award

8-7-2019

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Dominic J. Parrott

Second Advisor

Sarah DeGue

Third Advisor

Robert Latzman

Fourth Advisor

Anthony Lemieux

Fifth Advisor

Kevin Swartout

Abstract

The aims of the proposed study were to (1) test the interactive effects of acute alcohol intoxication and an evidenced-based situational-level predictor (i.e., audience social norms) on the likelihood and speed of sexual aggression intervention, and (2) examine perceived barriers for intervention. Participants were 74 men who were randomly assigned to consume alcohol or a no-alcohol control beverage and engaged in a novel laboratory paradigm in which they and four confederates (two men, two women) watched a female confederate, who reported a strong dislike of sexual content in the media, view a sexually explicit film which they could stop at any time. Prior to the female viewing the film, participants were randomly assigned to an audience manipulation wherein the confederates set a prosocial or ambiguous social norm. Following the laboratory paradigm, participants who did not stop the video completed a measure of bystander barriers. Analyses revealed no independent or main effects of prosocial norms or acute alcohol intoxication on intervention likelihood or speed. Further, there was no evidence to support prosocial norms or alcohol intoxication influence barriers to intervention. Post hoc analyses demonstrated among men who self-reported a willingness to intervene in sexual aggression prior to the laboratory paradigm (i.e., intent to help), acute alcohol intoxication decreased the likelihood of intervention. Additionally, (1) sober men low in intent to help intervened the fastest followed by sober high intent to help men, and (2) intoxicated men with high intent to help intervened faster than those low in intent to help, who had the slowest intervention rate. Findings suggest that among men willing to intervene, alcohol decreases intervention behavior and are interpreted using a recently proposed integrative framework for intoxicated sexual aggressive intervention advanced by Leone, Haikalis, Parrott, and DiLillo (2017). Given the high prevalence of alcohol-facilitated sexual assault, this study highlights the need for bystander training programs to incorporate (1) alcohol interventions to reduce drinking and (2) psychoeducation to train bystanders how to intervene when intoxicated.

Available for download on Wednesday, June 24, 2020

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