An equipment proposal from Dr. Molly Rosenberg and Dr. Christina Ludema entitled “Developing an IU-based research program to improve campus sexual health and safety with wearable alcohol monitors” has been selected by the Office of the Provost for Research (OVPR) for funding.
One of the major issues facing students today is the epidemic of sexual assaults that occur on campuses across the country, with Indiana University-Bloomington being no exception. Alcohol is a huge factor in sexual assault victimization and perpetration: it is cited as a factor in over half of all campus reports. But historically, alcohol use has been measured very poorly with self-reported data from students, often days, weeks, or months after events occur.
New wearable devices, much like a Fitbit but for tracking consumption of alcohol, show tangible research and prevention promise as they can provide real-time measures of alcohol use. Rosenberg and Ludema will utilize these wearable devices to gain high-quality data on the drinking behaviors of college students. Rosenberg and Ludema are also planning to develop an intervention to provide real-time feedback on alcohol use levels to support safer sexual decisions.
The OVPR funding to make a bulk purchase of these wearable devices will ultimately allow Rosenberg and Ludema to draw on the existing strengths in sexual health expertise at the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington and develop a strong sexual assault prevention research program.
The OVPR funding will be matched by the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington. Funding equipment is a very important mission at OVPR, as equipment can often be the foundation of growth and innovation on campus.