ERIC Number: ED296269
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988-Mar-31
Victimization History and Victim-Assailant Relationship as Factors in Recovery from Sexual Assault.
Roth, Susan; And Others
There is evidence that many women experience sexual assault, and that sexual assault can cause psychological and interpersonal problems. This study examined the psychological aftermath of sexual assault in a probability sample of female university students and employees (N=542), focusing on how various aspects of a victim's lifetime sexual assault history and her relationship with her assailant mediate posttraumatic recovery. Subjects completed a survey assessing: (1) demographic information; (2) social functioning; (3) distress caused by fears and phobias; (4) attitudes toward rape and rape victims; (5) psychological functioning; (6) most recent sexual assault experience; (7) additional sexual assault experiences; (8) symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (answered only by victims); and (9) physical violence in romantic relationships. Thirteen percent of respondents (N=70) reported sexual assault at some point in their lives. Compared to nonvictims, victims were more than twice as likely to meet given criteria for a psychiatric case, suggesting that sexual assault presents significant risk for psychological disorder. Victims of a single assault by a stranger, acquaintance, boyfriend, or husband, and adult multiple assault victims were the least distressed; victims of a single assault by a date, multiple childhood victims, and victims of repeated incest were the most distressed. Regarding psychological defense mechanisms, results indicated that denial scores were significantly predicted by number of sexual assaults. (NB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Psychological Association (34th, New Orleans, LA, March 31-April 2, 1988).