This paper examined risk for interpersonal violence (family or dating violence, sexual harassment, or sexual violence) perpetration using individual- and campus-level factors to understand how variations in campus culture and environment might shape risk of perpetration.
We conducted a secondary data analysis of data collected from 23,389 students at 12 universities that participated in a bystander intervention program evaluation from 2016 to 2019. We used multilevel logistic regression to analyze individual- (e.g., gender, association with risky peers, binge drinking) and campus-level factors (e.g., campus diversity, perceived institutional intolerance for sexual misconduct). The primary outcome was interpersonal violence perpetration.
Individual- and campus-level variables were associated with perpetration. Perpetration risk factors included being younger, a cisgender man, in a relationship, associating with risky peers, and having drinking problems. At the campus-level, increased ethnic diversity, higher perceptions of institutional intolerance for sexual misconduct, and being on a campus in which students reported more awareness of or exposure to sexual violence programming was associated with reduced perpetration risk.
These findings highlight how campus-level factors contribute to risk of interpersonal violence perpetration. We recommend campuses develop prevention programs that target campus-level structures, attitudes, and norms that may encourage interpersonal violence perpetration.