An RCT of Sources of Strength High School Primary Prevention Program on Sexual Violence Perpetration and Victimization and Dismissiveness of Sexual Harassment

Dorothy L. Espelage, Tomei Kuehl, Peter A. Wyman, Kyle Nickodem, Sasha Mintz, Alberto Valido, Luz E. Robinson, Gabriel J. Merrin, Kirstin Hoagland, Karen Schmeelk-Cone, Scott LoMurray, Ashley B. Woolweaver, Katherine M. Ingram, Kelly Rulison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Sexual violence among adolescents is a major concern. This study examined the impact of the peer-led Sources of Strength program on gender-based violence and attitudes dismissive of sexual harassment. Twenty high schools in Colorado were randomized to intervention (n = 11) or waitlist control (n = 9); students (N = 6461; 9th–11th graders) were surveyed four times (2017–2019); 45% Hispanic, 38% White, 2% Black, and 12% Multiracial; 78% straight/heterosexual, 11% bisexual, 4% questioning, 2% gay/lesbian, and 4% “other” sexuality. Baseline equivalence was not established for most outcomes. No direct intervention effects were found; however, self-reported exposure to Sources messaging was associated with small decreases in sexual harassment perpetration, forced sexual contact perpetration and victimization, and dismissiveness of sexual harassment in Year 2. Higher fidelity indicators were associated with exposure. School psychologists play key roles in identification and implementation of prevention programs, so suggestions to maximize implementation fidelity are provided. Impact Statement This study examined the impact of a peer-led intervention on reducing multiple forms of on help-seeking and connections to caring adults they were less likely to dismiss sexual harassment and less likely to perpetrate sexual violence. School psychologists and school administrators should implement programming to fidelity and ensure the school climate supports programming through policies and practices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalSchool Psychology Review
StateAccepted/In press - 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 National Association of School Psychologists.


  • Cixin Wang
  • adolescence
  • peer-led
  • sexual harassment
  • sexual violence

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