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Title:Contradictions in change: ecological factors in the implementation of ecological prevention
Author(s):Rieger, Agnes
Advisor(s):Allen, Nicole
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):sexual violence
organizational change
Abstract:This study investigated how sexual violence (SV) preventionists in one Midwestern state understand, adopt, and implement outer layer prevention of SV. Specifically, this study highlights the contextual factors that influence how preventionists take up a mandate to stretch to the outer layers of the social-ecological model. Data was collected via interviews with 28 preventionists, representing 26 rape crisis centers or similar organizations (e.g., YWCA); data was coded using an iterative phenomenological approach. Findings suggest that SV prevention in the state is primarily implemented at the individual-level; when interventions broach the outer layers, they are most often tertiary (i.e., responding to sexual assault after it has been perpetrated) in nature. While a majority of preventionists expressed a problem definition of SV that was rooted in an individual (e.g., being perpetrated due to a lack of knowledge about consent), and a majority of implemented prevention efforts matched this conceptualization at the individual level, contradictions between expressed understandings of SV (e.g., stemming from systematic oppression) and implemented prevention activities (e.g., single-session classroom educational interventions) were observed. Such contradictions may best be understood in light of contextual influences on implementation: diverse preventionist job responsibilities, less training/support for outer layer prevention, preventionist autonomy, leadership messaging, service hour requirements, community partner reticence (e.g., in schools), and extensive past and present work with schools. Inner layer influences on implementation included identification with job roles, preference for individual-level work, and a sense of urgency towards inner layer work appeared to interact with these contextual factors. Implications for future research and implementation of outer layer interventions, across domains/topics in community psychology, are discussed.
Issue Date:2021-12-10
Rights Information:Copyright 2021 Agnes Rieger
Date Available in IDEALS:2022-04-29
Date Deposited:2021-12

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