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The Relationship Between US Military Officer Leadership Behaviors and Risk of Sexual Assault of Reserve, National Guard, and Active Component Servicewomen in Nondeployed Locations.

Sadler AG, Mengeling MA, Booth BM, O'Shea AM, Torner JC. The Relationship Between US Military Officer Leadership Behaviors and Risk of Sexual Assault of Reserve, National Guard, and Active Component Servicewomen in Nondeployed Locations. American journal of public health. 2017 Jan 1; 107(1):147-155.

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Abstract:

OBJECTIVES: To determine if military leader behaviors are associated with active component and Reserve-National Guard servicewomen's risk of sexual assault in the military (SAIM) for nondeployed locations. METHODS: A community sample of 1337 Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom-era Army and Air Force servicewomen completed telephone interviews (March 2010-December 2011) querying sociodemographic and military characteristics, sexual assault histories, and leader behaviors. We created 2 factor scores (commissioned and noncommissioned) to summarize behaviors by officer rank. RESULTS: A total of 177 servicewomen (13%) experienced SAIM in nondeployed locations. Negative leader behaviors were associated with increased assault risk, at least doubling servicewomen's odds of SAIM (e.g., noncommissioned officers allowed others in unit to make sexually demeaning comments; odds ratio? = 2.7; 95% confidence interval? = 1.8, 4.1). Leader behavior frequencies were similar, regardless of service type. Negative leadership behavior risk factors remained significantly associated with SAIM risk even after adjustment for competing risk. Noncommissioned and commissioned officer factor scores were highly correlated (r? = 0.849). CONCLUSIONS: The association between leader behaviors and SAIM indicates that US military leaders have a critical role in influencing servicewomen's risk of and safety from SAIM.





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