Help Seeking in College Women
william f. connell school of nursing
Angela Amar, Connell School Associate Professor
College women are at greater risk for intimate partner violence, rape, and other forms of sexual assault—usually in dating experiences—than women in the general population or in a comparable age group. Despite campus prevention and intervention programs, the majority of college women do not report their dating violence (DV) to campus or local authorities and many do not seek needed health care or mental health services. Limited research explores help seeking behavior (defined as any behavior that one uses to solve a problem) in college women, especially related to violence. The purpose of this project is to determine the significant attitudes and beliefs that are associated with reporting of dating violence in college women. Achieving this goal will guide future research developing and testing effective prevention and intervention strategies to facilitate and increase reporting of dating violence in this population.
The study uses an exploratory design, guided by the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB), to test the relationship of attitudes and beliefs with the help seeking behavior of reporting dating violence and to describe dating violence help seeking behavior of college women. Specific aims are as follows:
- To determine significant attitudes and beliefs associated with the help seeking behavior of reporting DV
- To identify the significant attitudes and beliefs that differentiate between individuals with intention to report violence and those who do not intend to report violence
- To identify the significant attitudes and beliefs that differentiate between victims with intention to report violence and those who do not intend to report violence
- To describe the formal and informal help seeking behavior of victims of dating violence
The findings gained from this study will allow health professionals to enhance the screening and surveillance procedures for identifying individuals who have experienced intimate partner violence.
An Ecological Approach to Help Seeking Behavior
Understanding the individual, interpersonal, institutional, and community level factors associated with DV help seeking, using a exploratory mixed method design, grounded in an ecological framework to administer surveys and conduct focus groups with college students and 2500 campus administrators.
Funded by the Nurse Faculty Scholar program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Advanced Practice Forensic Nursing
Established a graduate program in forensic nursing at the William F. Connell School of Nursing at Boston College.
Funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration