Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Amy E. Naugle


Based on research findings indicating that sexual victimization is a prevalent problem on college campuses and has significant consequences for victims, researchers have examined the effectiveness of sexual assault education programs on reducing incidents of sexual victimization and have found programs to be unsuccessful. Other researchers have begun to investigate behavioral factors associated with risk for sexual victimization in order to better understand mechanisms of sexual victimization and revictimization before developing and implementing interventions. One hypothesis that has received increased attention in recent years is that women with a sexual victimization history may have deficient risk perception and effective responding skills. The current study is part of a program of research on the development, validation, and use of an innovative videotaped methodology for the assessment of potential behavioral risk factors of sexual victimization and revictimization in a heterosexual college student population. The purpose of this study is to examine initial construct validity and reliability of written vignettes designed to assess risk perception and effective behavioral responding to inform further development and validation of the videotaped assessment methodology. Eight written vignettes developed during an earlier study, and for which content validation data have been obtained, were presented to college women with and without sexual victimization histories. Participants rated the vignettes, using the Vignette Rating Questionnaire, and completed a number of additional measures to examine convergent and discriminant validity, internal structure, test-retest reliability, alternate forms reliability, and internal consistency of the measure. Results provide initial support for the construct validity and reliability of the analog measure and the theoretical constructs of risk perception, response appraisal, and response. Directions for future research are discussed.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access