Date of Award

12-2016

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Amy Naugle

Second Advisor

Dr. Scott Gaynor

Third Advisor

Dr. Cynthia Pietras

Fourth Advisor

Dr. C. Dennis Simpson

Abstract

The current study was a prospective examination of the potential predictors of sexual victimization in women with and without sexual victimization histories. Utilizing a longitudinal design, we investigated sexually risky behavior, sexual sensation seeking, and substance use disordered behavior with regard to the later experience of sexual victimization during 2-­‐‑, 6-­‐‑, and 12-­‐‑month follow-­‐‑up periods. As reported previously, Time 1 data suggested that women with victimization histories were more likely to engage in sexually risky behaviors, engage in substance use disordered behavior, and were more likely to endorse higher scores of sexual sensation seeking. A statistically significant relationship was not found between these measures and later sexual victimization nor were they found to differentiate among sexually victimized and nonvictimized women at follow-­‐‑up periods of 2, 6, and 12 months. Although risky sexual behavior, seeking higher rates of sexual excitement, and substance use were highly correlated with sexual victimization at Time 1, these analyses did not reveal that these variables placed women at greater vulnerability for sexual victimization at 2-­‐‑, 6-­‐‑, or 12-­‐‑month follow-­‐‑up. High attrition rates and lower rates of sample substance use and risky sexual behavior for each follow-­‐‑up period may have impacted the study results. It is also possible that in any given sexual violence situation, several variables specific to the victim, perpetrator, and situation interact such that discovering unifying predictor variables is difficult. Current literature and results of our prior research suggest further investigation of interventions that target these variables to increase protective strategies in college females.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access