Evaluating the Effectiveness of a Domestic Violence Course: Change in Knowledge and Civic Attitudes
Castro, Janice E.
The University of Maryland McNair Scholars Undergraduate Research Journal, Vol. 3, 2011: 70-83.
MetadataShow full item record
The effectiveness of a domestic violence course was evaluated to investigate whether changes occurred in general knowledge about domestic violence and in civic attitudes as a result of participation in the college course. Knowledge on support needed for survivors of intimate partner violence, and about the role of the advocate when working with intimate partner survivors were subscales investigated from the general knowledge about domestic violence. This study is significant because we cannot assume that the course is effective in teaching students about domestic violence unless we empirically evaluate whether change in knowledge occurred over the semester. A total of twentytwo participants completed the pre and post surveys. The findings indicated that students gained knowledge regarding general understanding of domestic violence and knowledge regarding the role of the advocate when working with intimate partner survivors. There were no changes in knowledge about the support needed for survivors of intimate partner violence and in civic attitudes. This evaluation of the effectiveness of the course contributed to the literature about educational programs focused on intimate partner violence for adolescents as programs exist that are focused on educating students in middle school and high school, but not in college. Many programs have been offered outside of educational environments; this study indicated that a course provided at a university was effective in educating college students about domestic violence. Increase in knowledge might lead to fewer IPV incidents which have demonstrated to cause health consequences. Future research may provide ways of how to teach college students about domestic violence and possibly reduce future involvement in violent relationships. Recommendations include to replicate the study with larger number of participants and include a service learning component would be critical to measure for changes in civic attitudes.