Graduation Term


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Department of Psychology: Clinical-Counseling Psychology

Committee Chair

Marla Reese-Weber


The purpose of the study was to examine whether attachment insecurity, global self-esteem, sexual self-esteem, and subjective well-being mediate the relationship between childhood sexual abuse (CSA) and sexual assault during college. The participants included 158 female college students from Illinois State University. Students were granted the opportunity to receive extra credit for participating in the study. Participants completed a demographics questionnaire, the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, the Sexual Self-Esteem Inventory, the Experiences in Close Relationships Questionnaire, the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule, the Satisfaction with Life Scale, the Hot Topics Questionnaire, and the Sexual Experiences Survey. Of the 158 participants, 108 (68.4%) were in the non-CSA group, and 49 (31.0%) were in the CSA group. Nearly half of the participants reported experiencing a sexual assault during college (48.7%). Results found that CSA was related to increased vulnerability to experiencing sexual assault in adulthood. Results also suggested that CSA was related to lower levels of global self-esteem and decreased subjective well-being. No difference was found between the non-CSA and CSA group in attachment or sexual self-esteem. Finally, the relationship between CSA and sexual assault was not found to be mediated by attachment, global self-esteem, sexual self-esteem, or subjective well-being.


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