Date of Award

8-2015

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Pearl Berman, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Maureen C. McHugh, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Anson Long, Ph.D.

Abstract

Interpersonal violence is considered to be a major public health concern; education efforts are necessary to involve citizens in reducing violence. This study examined the effectiveness of a violence prevention education program administered at the collegiate level. The program consisted of traditional classroom learning combined with an online learning component using Facebook. The goals of this curriculum were to teach students the warning signs of violence, including those related to general violence, suicide, physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, and neglect, and to increase their engagement in learning and advocacy. These goals were analyzed using several methods: knowledge of warning signs was tracked before, directly after, and one year after participation, knowledge of warning signs was compared to a control group, levels of advocacy were measured throughout and after the curriculum, and behaviors within the Facebook group were coded for analysis. Results showed that students learned various warning signs of violence and maintained this knowledge over time. Curriculum participants outperformed the control group of psychology students who did not participate in the curriculum in every category except for neglect. Although students participated in some advocacy steps throughout the curriculum and afterward, expected increases in most categories were not seen. This study has important implications for violence prevention education and prevention.

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