Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Department of Psychology: Clinical-Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Marla J. Reese-Weber


The purpose of the study was to examine how childhood sexual abuse (CSA) influences identity development along with attachment and self-esteem. The participants included 208 first-year female undergraduate students from Illinois State University. Students were afforded the opportunity to receive extra credit for their participation and could enter into a random prize drawing. Participants completed a demographics questionnaire, Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, The Experiences in Close Relationships Questionnaire, Dimensions of Identity Development Scale, and the Hot Topics Questionnaire which assesses history of CSA. Of the participants, 145 (69.7%) were in the non-abuse group and 63 (30.3%) were in the abuse group. Results indicated that CSA was related to higher levels of attachment anxiety, attachment avoidance, and low levels of self-esteem compared to the non-abuse group. No difference was found between the abuse and non-abuse groups on levels of commitment making, identification with commitments, or ruminative exploration. Finally, poor attachment security and low levels of self-esteem were found to be related to lower levels of commitment making, identification with commitments, and higher levels of ruminative exploration.


Imported from ProQuest Dukett_ilstu_0092N_10516.pdf


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