Development and Validation of a Video Measure for Assessing Women’s Risk Perception for Alcohol-Related Sexual Assault

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Objective: Using an iterative process, a series of 3 video scenarios was developed for use as a standardized measure for assessing women’s perception of risks for alcohol-related sexual assault (SA). The videos included ambiguous and clear behavioral and environmental risk cues. Method: Focus group discussions with young, female heavy drinkers (N = 42) were used to develop 3 videos at different risk levels (low, moderate, and high) in Study 1. Realism, reliability, and validity of the videos were assessed using multiple methods in Studies 2 and 3. One hundred four women were used to compare differences in risk perception across the video risk level in Study 2. In Study 3 (N = 60), we assessed women’s perceptions of the low and high risk videos under conditions of no alcohol and alcohol. Results: The realism and reliability of the videos were good. Women who viewed the low risk video compared with women who viewed the moderate and high risk videos perceived less risk for SA. We found an interaction between alcohol and risk perception such that, women in the alcohol condition were less likely to perceive risk when watching the high risk video. Conclusions: As the video risk level increased, women’s perception of risk increased. These findings provide convergent evidence for the validity of the video measure. Given the limited number of standardized scenarios for assessing risk perception for sexual assault, our findings suggest that these videos may provide a needed standardized measure.

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