Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Department of Psychology: Clinical-Counseling Psychology
Childhood sexual abuse is a large problem, with research estimates indicating that between 16-25% of women have experienced sexual abuse at some point during their childhood (Dube et al., 2005; Gorey & Leslie, 1997). Even more alarming is the data that suggests that women who have experienced childhood sexual abuse are between 2 to 11 times more likely to experience sexual assault as an adult than individuals with no past history of abuse (Messman-Moore & Long, 2003). To help understand the complex and varied outcomes associated with childhood sexual abuse, Finkelhor and Browne (1985) developed a model conceptualizing the four main outcomes of CSA called the traumagenic dynamics, which include traumatic sexualization, powerlessness, betrayal, and stigmatization. These dynamics have been identified as the main sources of trauma resulting from CSA. This study examined all four traumagenic dynamics and their possible relationships with childhood sexual abuse and revictimization in adulthood. Traumatic sexualization was assessed using a measure of body dissatisfaction, powerlessness was conceptualized in terms of coping strategies employed by victims, betrayal was assessed by examining forgiveness of an abuser by the victim, and stigmatization was assessed by disclosure of abuse. Findings support literature which suggests that victims of childhood sexual abuse are at a higher risk of sexual revictimization in their first semester on a college campus when compared to non-abused participants. Additionally, this study found that victims of childhood sexual abuse reported higher rates of body image dissatisfaction and that body image dissatisfaction was related to the risk of sexual assault in the first semester on a college campus.
Bowles, Christine Renee, "Outcome Variables of Childhood Sexual Abuse as Potential Risk Factors for Sexual Revictimization in Adulthood" (2014). Theses and Dissertations. 210.