Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Master of Arts

Program

Education

Supervisor

Peter George Jaffe

Abstract

Violence against women and girls is a global burden that requires increased action, especially among males. Although the engagement of males in violence prevention programs have recently spiked, there is minimal evidence that outlines positive changes in males’ attitudes and behaviours when addressing violence against women and girls. The present study examined high school boys’ experiences of a one-day violence against women prevention program with respect to their attitudes and intentions to address violence against women and girls. Guided by the Transtheoretical Model for Behaviour Change and the theory of Moral Disengagement, a pre-event questionnaire was utilized to assess 156 southwestern Ontario high school boys’ attitudes about violence against women, and a post-event questionnaire assessed their level of satisfaction with the event, and their intentions to engage with the issue. Five post-event focus groups were conducted with twenty-five participants to contextualize the pre- and post- event questionnaires. Key findings revealed that many of the participants were aware of the issue of violence against women and girls, and felt responsible, and felt that they had a role to play. Participants’ self-reported defensiveness was not related to their overall event satisfaction. Participants’ favourable attitudes and overall event satisfaction ratings predicted their willingness to raise awareness in their schools. Given these findings, future research may benefit from a more randomized sample of participants. Future prevention programs may benefit from more complex questionnaires that address adolescent males’ attitudes and intentions about violence against women, and utilize post-tests that assess male participants’ behaviour when addressing violence against women.


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