Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Education

Major

Psychology

Date of Defense

7-28-2016

Graduate Advisor

Zoe D. Peterson, PhD

Committee

Ann Steffen, Ph.D.

Brian Vandenberg, Ph. D.

Kristin Carbone-Lopez, Ph.D.

Abstract

The development of effective sexual aggression prevention programs for men relies on data garnered from perpetration research. However, few studies have focused on understanding and improving self-report measures of sexual aggression perpetration (Kolivas & Gross, 2007). The current studies explored the impact of men’s intentional and unintentional misreporting on two measures of sexual aggression perpetration (SES-LFP: Koss et al., 2007; SSS: Peterson, et al., 2010). Study 1 (N=93) used a Bogus Pipeline (BPL) methodology to determine if men intentionally underreport their use of aggressive strategies on traditionally administered measures of perpetration. Compared to men in a control condition, men in the experimental BPL condition, designed to promote honest responding, were significantly more likely to acknowledge experiences with using sexually aggressive strategies, specifically strategies consistent with sexual assault. Study 2 (N=34) used semi-structured interviewing to explore the nature and frequency of unintentional over-reporting and underreporting on measures of sexual aggression perpetration. Item misinterpretation led to both over-reporting and underreporting of sexual aggression, although underreporting was more common. Men’s interpretations of items, decision making processes, and reasons for producing discrepant reports across measures were analyzed and discussed.

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