Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Sexual assault is a common problem faced by women. Research has suggested 1 in 4 women will experience a sexual assault at some point during their life (Casey & Nuris, 2006; Tjaden & Thoennes, 1998; Fisher, Cullen & Turner, 2000). College females are one of the highest risk groups for experiencing a sexual assault. Currently, self defense courses are offered on college campuses. Self defense courses have proven to reduce depression and anxiety as well as increase a participant’s self esteem (Brecklin & Ullman, 2005). The current study assessed the efficacy of a novel assertiveness training program on reducing sexual assault risk. The current study had 54 female, undergraduate participants who were designated to an experimental or wait-list control condition. Participants who were given the assertiveness training program were compared to those who were not. The current study found the assertiveness training program increased general assertiveness and increased positive communication in romantic relationships. This finding has important implications for the future of sexual assault prevention programming offered on college campuses.