25 Aug U.S. Army Administrative Data Can Be Used To Predict Sexual Assault Perpetration
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Anthony J. Rosellini, Ph.D.
Research Assistant Professor
Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders
Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences
Boston, MA 02215
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: Sexual assault among service members is a significant concern of the Department of Defense (DoD) and U.S. Army. Although the annual rate of sexual assault among soldiers is believed to be decreasing, there have also been increases in the number of victims coming forward to report their experiences. The DoD and Army have responded by creating a framework of universal prevention in which all soldiers are required to participate in relatively brief programs aimed at decreasing rates of sexual assault. More intensive preventive interventions could be required, but would only be cost-effective if targeted at a subset of soldiers who are most likely to perpetrate sexual assault.
The goal of this study was to use DoD and U.S. Army administrative records that are available for all soldiers to develop prediction models for sexual assault perpetration. We used the records from all 821,807 male soldiers who served between 2004 and 2009 to develop separate models to predict assaults directed against within-family and non-family adults and minors.
MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Response: The main finding of this study is that DoD and U.S. Army administrative records can be used to accurately identify a high proportion of all male soldiers who perpetrate sexual assault. The 5% of male soldiers predicted to be at highest risk of sexual assault perpetration accounted for roughly two-thirds of all reported sexual assaults of family members who were minors, one-third of all reported assaults of family members who were adults, one-fifth of all reported assaults of non-family minors, and one-sixth of all reported assaults of non-family adults. If a system is developed to routinely consolidate the administrative records used here, predictions could be generated periodically to identify those in need of intensive preventive intervention.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Response: Future research is needed to evaluate the effectiveness and practical challenges of requiring intensive preventive interventions for soldiers at high risk of sexual assault perpetration. For instance, research is needed to adapt and test intensive preventive intervention for soldiers as existing programs have been developed only among civilians. Research is also needed to evaluate the negative stigma and other possible consequences associated with being labeled as high-risk for sexual assault perpetration.
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Predicting Sexual Assault Perpetration in the U.S. Army Using Administrative Data.
Rosellini AJ1, Monahan J2, Street AE3, Petukhova MV4, Sampson NA4, Benedek DM5, Bliese P6, Stein MB7, Ursano RJ5, Kessler RC8.
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