Understanding the Disclosure of Sexual Violence among College Women Open Access

Krause, Kathleen Helen (Spring 2018)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/gh93gz49h?locale=en


Chapter 2: Measuring campus sexual assault and culture: A systematic review of Campus Climate Surveys ©American Psychological Association, 2018. This paper is not the copy of record and may not exactly replicate the authoritative document published in the APA journal. Please do not copy or cite without author's permission. The final article is available, upon publication, at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/vio0000209


Surveying students about sexual violence became a national priority in 2014 when President Obama established a White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault, which recommended that U.S. colleges and universities administer Campus Climate Surveys to understand the prevalence of sexual assault on campus.



We conducted a grey literature systematic review of Campus Climate Survey reports to compare the measurement of sexual assault and the degree to which colleges and universities followed Task Force guidance on how to implement these surveys. We operationalized the concept of “social support” to test the effects of mode (face-to-face interview, FTFI, versus computer-assisted self-interview, CASI) of administration and introductory language (supportive, SL, versus neutral, NL) on disclosure of sexual violence among college women. We investigated which factors would result in the highest rate of sexual violence disclosure, how provision of social support in a measurement environment effects reactions to survey participation, and how social support in everyday life affects disclosure via survey and reactions to survey participation.



One-third of schools reported on all six Task Force recommended survey topic areas. One-quarter of schools used the Task Force definition of sexual assault. In our factorial experiment, more than one in four women disclosed any sexual violence since coming to college. No significant difference in rates of sexual violence disclosure were observed by either mode of administration or introductory language. Survivors reported higher scores of personal benefits and emotional reactions to participation than those who did not disclose. Campus connectedness has a direct effect on most reactions to survey participation and is negatively associated with disclosure. Disclosure mediates the effect of campus connectedness on emotional reactions to survey participation.



The U.S. needs a national mechanism to systematically identify survey reports and to standardize measures and reporting for Campus Climate Surveys. FTFI and CASI elicited similar rates of sexual violence disclosure, suggesting that colleges and universities can conduct robust assessments via CASI. Nonsignificant findings that FTFI elicited more disclosures warrants further study. Colleges and universities need to foster inclusive campus culture for students while implementing Campus Climate Surveys.

Table of Contents


Table of Contents

CHAPTER 1: Introduction                                                                                     1

A Brief History of Policy to Measure Sexual Violence                                              2

The Measurement of Campus Sexual Violence                                                          5

Reactions to Participation in Surveys about Violence                                                10

Survivor Disclosure Behavior and Health                                                                  12

Gaps and Limitations of Current Research                                                                13

Aims of this Research                                                                                                 13

Expected Contribution of the Research Aims                                                            15

References                                                                                                                  18


CHAPTER 2: Measuring campus sexual assault and culture: A systematic

review of Campus Climate Surveys                                                                        47

Introduction                                                                                                                47

Methods                                                                                                                      52

Results                                                                                                                         59

Discussion                                                                                                                   61

Research Implications                                                                                                 65

Policy Implications                                                                                                     67

References                                                                                                                  79


CHAPTER 3: Disclosure of campus sexual violence among college women:

A survey experiment to provide social support in measurement                          90

Introduction                                                                                                                90

Methods                                                                                                                      94

Results                                                                                                                        99

Discussion                                                                                                                   100

Implications                                                                                                                103

References                                                                                                                  110


CHAPTER 4: The relationship between social support, sexual violence

disclosure, and reactions to survey participation among college women 118

Introduction                                                                                                                118

Methods                                                                                                                      122

Results                                                                                                                        130

Discussion                                                                                                                   132

Implications                                                                                                                136

References                                                                                                                  144


CHAPTER 5: Summary and conclusion                                                                154

Evaluation of the Dissertation Research                                                                     155

Implications for research, policy, and practice                                                           159

Conclusion                                                                                                                  162

References                                                                                                                  164

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