Theses Doctoral

Students’ Experiences With Sexual and Intimate Partner Violence: a Secondary Analysis of ACHA-NCHA Iic Data to Inform Campus Violence Prevention Programming

Degesys, Aiste

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention proposes that universities/colleges implement comprehensive sexual violence prevention programming (SV-PP). Data suggest intimate partner violence (IPV) exceeds campus sexual violence (SV) rates with rape culture (RC) creating an environment conduce to SV; with limited information on graduate students’ SV and IPV experiences. To improve university/college SV-PP, counseling, and mental health services for all students, studies of IPV and SV, and a contributing factor, RC, are needed. This dissertation is a secondary data analysis of the American College Health Association-National College Health Assessment IIc comparing responses from Spring 2016 to Spring 2019 to illuminate the relationship between IPV and SV. Specific aims were to: 1) explore the relationship between IPV and SV amongst students; 2) compare IPV and SV experiences between undergraduate and graduate students; and, 3) develop an instrument assessing students’ RC perceptions.

Analyses (SPSS Version 26) illustrated that SV was correlated (2016: r=.25, p<.001; 2019: r=.29, p<.001) with IPV; with rates of IPV exceeding SV. Undergraduates had disproportionately higher experiences of SV and IPV than graduate students. Factors that increased odds for SV and IPV: being female, transgender, non-White, non-heterosexual, lower GPA, and/or drug use. Non-White subgroups of the college population, such as American Indian/Alaskan Native/Native Hawaiian students, had higher rates and increased odds of experiencing SV (OR: 1.47, 95% CI [1.29, 1.67], p<.001) and any form of IPV (OR: 1.53, 95% CI [1.34, 1.74], p<.001) than other subgroups. Among variables analyzed using logistic regression, drug use (excluding marijuana) within the last 30 days was associated with the highest odds of SV (OR 5.29, 95% CI [3.11, 9.01], p<.001) and IPV (OR 6.02, 95% CI [3.62, 10.03], p<.001).

To improve resources, educate the campus community, and support survivors, it is imperative campuses understand the relationship between SV, IPV, RC, and those at increased risk for victimization. Colleges and universities can facilitate systemic change by accurately naming the culture that supports violence against women as “rape culture,” measuring RC on campus, and engaging in multitiered PP at all levels of the institution.

Geographic Areas


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Health and Behavior Studies
Thesis Advisors
Rajan, Sonali
Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University
Published Here
October 22, 2020