Date of Defense

4-23-2012

Date of Graduation

4-28-2012

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Amy E. Naugle

Second Advisor

Tara E. Adams

Third Advisor

Abby E. Blankenship

Abstract

Experiential avoidance is a construct that researchers have proposed as a possible mediating factor between psychopathology and a prior history of traumatic events. Among the traumatic events investigated in the research literature, experiential avoidance has demonstrated correlations with prior experiences of sexual victimization. Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and PTSD symptoms have also been linked with incidence of sexual victimization and engaging in experiential avoidance. Another variable commonly associated with this construct is problematic alcohol consumption. The present study presumed that women with a history of sexual victimization would report high PTSD symptoms, a stronger likelihood of partaking in problem drinking, and engaging in high levels of experiential avoidance. This research sought to investigate experiential avoidance as a mechanism by which PTSD symptoms and problem drinking may be exacerbated. Using self-report measures, this study investigated experiential avoidance as a correlational variable with a prior history of sexual victimization, PTSD symptoms, and problem drinking. Results indicated that PTSD symptoms and sexual victimization history predicted problem drinking, but that experiential avoidance did not contribute to the model concerning predicting problem drinking.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access

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