Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
School of Communication
The majority of research available on family communication and sexual assault disclosure is almost exclusively focused on Caucasian women (e.g., Basinger, Wehrman, & McAninch, 2016; Fehler-Cabral & Campbell, 2013; Orchowski, Untied, & Gidycz, 2013; Taylor & Norma, 2012). This is problematic because, of all cultural groups on which studies have been conducted about sexual assault reporting, Hispanics are the least likely to disclose sexual assault, although they are at high risk to experience sexual assault (Castaneda, 2018). In this study, I aimed to understand how and why survivors of sexual assault chose to disclose their experiences to their Hispanic families. Specifically, I was interested in understanding what factors survivors considered when selecting family members to be confidants, how confidant responses shaped future familial communication about sexual assault, and how/if Hispanic families experienced and managed privacy dilemmas. I selected Communication Privacy Management as the theoretical framework for this study. I conducted seven in-depth interviews with Hispanic survivors of sexual assault who both willingly and unwillingly disclosed their assault to their family. Using thematic analysis, three themes emerged related to factors in confidant selection, confidant responses, and privacy dilemmas. Implications of the study, limitations, and future research are discussed.
Hernandez, Alyssa M., ""They are Supposed to be There for Me": Using Thematic Analysis to Understand Sexual Assault Disclosures in Hispanic Families" (2019). Theses and Dissertations. 1083.