Center for Women's Health and Wellness

School of Health and Human Sciences

  • Making UNCG Campus Safe for All. In collaboration with a UNCG team andother universities around the country we pilot tested (Spring 2015) the APA “campus climate” survey to guide development of campus sexual violence prevention and response activities. UNCG was a pilot site and we are now partnering with UNCG staff/faculty on data analysis and interpretation and further planning. CWHW will serve as the UNCG “hub” for the annual campus climate survey. Our next campus climate survey will be in the Spring of 2017. Partners at UNCG include the Dean of Students, Title IX Coordinator, Office of Heath Promotion (Student Wellness). Lead : Paige Hall Smith, Loreen Olson.


  • North Carolina Safe and Healthy Campus Study. In collaborating with the NCCoalition Against Sexual Assault and the State Sexual Violence Prevention Team we launched this study to learn more about the needs of LGBTQI-identified students on college campuses as they relate to sexual violence. Our goal is to develop effective and realistic strategies that NC campuses can implement to improve sexual assault prevention and response for LGBTQI-identified students. To that end we established a coalition of campus-partners across the state to design a statewide survey that assesses these experiences. Team members : Paige Hall Smith, Leigh-Ann Royster, PHE Doctoral Candidate, Jen Przewoznik, NCCASA, Juliette Grimmett, Chrysalis Network.


  • Building Capacity to Advance DVSP Responses to LGBTQI Clients andCommunities. We are partnering with the NC Coalition Against Domestic Violence on a study to learn more about how we can better prepare NC’s domestic violence service providers (DVSP) to meet the needs of LGBTQ individuals who experience partner violence. We have conducted 4 focus groups with programs around the state and a statewide survey to assess current capacity and needs. We are now planning a statewide training initiative. Team :  Paige Hall Smith, Leigh Ann Royster, PHE Doctoral student, staff at NCCADV.


  • Battery and Traumatic Brain Injury This multi-phased project involves a set of interdisciplinary scholars studying intimate partner related traumatic brain injury. Currently two manuscripts are in progress—one presenting a theoretical framework for studying and understanding the phenomenon and another summarizing the implications for practice. Plans are underway to conduct empirical examinations of the phenomenon. Colleagues include : Gwen Hunnicut, Kristine Lundgren, & Christine Murray


  • Luring Communication and Child Sexual Predators. This long term project examines how child sexual predators build relationships with children and use communication to lure them into a cycle of entrapment, thereby creating an environment where the predator can sexually abuse the child. The first analysis led to the creation of a theory entitled, Luring Communication Theory, and was published in the journal Communication Theory. More recently, we have tested the theory by applying it to the Jerry Sandusky case.


Lead : Loreen Olson Olson, L. N., Daggs, J. L., Ellevold, B. L., & Rogers, T. K. (2007).The communication of deviance:

Toward a theory of child sexual predators’ luring communication. Communication Theory, 17, 231-251.
More recently, we have tested the theory by applying it to the Jerry Sandusky case.To follow is a description of and citation for this study: Abstract: On Friday June 22, 2012, Jerry Sandusky (JS), the former, highly-regarded college football coach at The Pennsylvania State University, was found guilty of 45 counts of sexual abuse with prepubescent boys, occurring over a period of 15 years. Luring Communication Theory (LCT; Olson, et al., 2007) was developed to describe the face-to face communication processes that occur over time between perpetrators and potential victims of child sexual abuse (CSA). The purpose of this case study was to a) explore the luring communication used by Jerry Sandusky to entrap his victims into a sexual relationship, and b) further develop LCT using the findings in the Sandusky case. Results of the analysis support the major tenets of LCT with some additions and edits, including organizational privilege and protection, creating access, emotional responses, a maintenance structure of abuse, instances of no abuse or short-term abuse, and longitudinal effects as an extended outcome. Application of results and future steps for further theory development are discussed.

Adamson, N. A., Albert, C. S., Campbell, E. C., & Olson, L. N. (under review). Luring communication theory: A case study analysis of Jerry Sandusky’s communicative entrapment of child victims. Manuscript submitted for publication.