Date of Award

8-2003

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Amy Naugle

Second Advisor

Dr. C. Richard Spates

Third Advisor

Dr. Lester Wright Jr.

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Elaine Phillips

Abstract

In the current study, a videotaped scenario was used to assess sexual communication skills among a sample of undergraduate women. The study was designed to identify specific communication strategies that may serve as risk or protective factors in acquaintance rape situations. Given that women with a prior sexual victimization history are at increased risk for subsequent sexual assault, the study examined whether these women exhibit particular communication skills deficits in dating situations. Using a validated videotaped vignette, 47 undergraduate women without a history of victimization (NVP) were compared to 28 women with a history of sexual assault (SVP) (assault occurring one time in either childhood or adulthood), and to 30 women who have had a repeated history of sexual assault (RVP), (assault occurring at least once in childhood and adulthood, or repeated instances in childhood and/or adulthood) on their ratings and responses on dimensions of risk depicted in a videotaped vignette. Results indicated that participants who do not have a victimization history detected more risk than women who have a history of victimization, although this finding was not statistically significant. Additional results are discussed in terms of differences in behavioral responding between the three groups. The implications of these findings as well as directions for future research are discussed.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access

Included in

Psychology Commons

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