ERIC Number: ED354461
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Causal Attributions and Recovery from Rape: Implications for Counseling.
Frazier, Patricia A.; Schauben, Laura J.
One factor related to postrape trauma is the survivor's belief about the cause of the rape. Most research to date on the relation between causal attributions and postrape recovery has been guided by a theoretical model which proposes that certain types of self-blame can be adaptive for survivors. Specifically, behavioral self-blame is thought to be related to better adjustment because it is associated with a sense of future control. On the other hand, characterological self-blame involves attributions to aspects of self that cannot be changed, and hence cannot be seen as helpful. Moreover, and more often, thinking about why the rape occurred is associated with greater depression immediately postrape. This study examined the relations between attributions and recovery among female students raped an average of almost 9 years previously. Data were collected on 282 female undergraduate students, 60 of whom reported experiences that met the legal definition of rape. Participants who had been raped completed five 5-item Likert scales regarding their attributions about rape (behavioral self-blame, characterological self-blame, how often they thought about why the rape occurred, the extent to which the past rape was avoidable, and likelihood of future rape). Results indicated both behavioral and characterological self-blame are associated with poorer recovery for survivors of rape. Neither behavioral self-blame nor perceptions of past control were associated with the belief that future rapes are less likely. Future research thus should examine future control beliefs. Helping survivors achieve a sense of control over the future may be a more useful counseling strategy than focusing on why the rape occurred. (ABL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A