RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C.— RTI International will collaborate with the United States Department of Defense (DoD) via a subaward from the University of Florida (UF) to enhance prevention strategies for reducing instances of sexual assault among Cadets during their time at the U.S. Air Force Academy (USAFA) and during their service in the Air Force.
The project aims to reduce occurrences of sexual assault and recommend approaches to provide tailored sexual violence prevention training to USAFA Cadets. RTI will use research and data to adapt, implement, and evaluate a prevention curriculum—the Sexual Communication and Consent (SCC) program, which has been developed and tested at Air Force Basic Military Training.
Through a proposed three-year study, RTI will partner with UF and USAFA in pursuit of the following objectives:
- Modify the current SCC strategy and content based on pilot testing and input from Cadets, instructors, and other USAFA stakeholders
- Assess the feasibility and acceptability of the program in the USAFA environment
- Evaluate the new program’s effectiveness with respect to proximal (knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, self-efficacy) and distal (sexual assault prevalence across the first year in the academy) outcomes
Dr. Marni Kan, prevention researcher at RTI, will lead the effort to support UF in implementing and testing evidence-based sexual assault prevention and response strategies at USAFA. Dr. Kan’s team will help adapt the SCC (tailored tablet- and classroom instruction-based) program for USAFA and collect crucial data using measures used to test SCC with Air Force Basic Military Trainees. This data will inform future improvements to the program and will help to understand the potential impact of the curriculum for USAFA Cadets.
This project is an opportunity to take 6 years of experience learning about tailored sexual violence prevention with the Air Force and apply it to the Academy context. RTI is excited to expand our understanding of this innovative, technology-based program in a new military population.
RTI strives to improve the human condition, especially the overall quality of life for Service members and their families. Through this partnership with UF and USAFA, RTI hopes to help the Air Force build a program and organizational climate to prevent sexual violence, support assault survivors, and empower the Armed Forces to increase trust and cohesion among its ranks.
Check out the RTI Center on Social Determinants, Risk Behaviors, and Prevention Science for related research, publications, and projects.