Title

Women's adjustment following childhood sexual abuse: Evaluation of a schema and resiliency model of trauma recovery

Date of Completion

January 2009

Keywords

Psychology, Clinical

Degree

Ph.D.

Abstract

The current study used structural equation modeling to examine the relationship between women's childhood sexual abuse and sexual revictimization in adulthood. Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) has been associated with a number of negative outcomes for adult victims, especially among women. One of the most disturbing outcomes of early childhood sexual abuse is sexual revictimization in adulthood. While a number of factors have been found to increase revictimization risk among survivors of sexual abuse, few have demonstrated a clear and consistent link. The current study examined multiple risk and protective factors such as maladaptive schemas, resilience, sexual coercion, and trauma symptomatology in one comprehensive model. It was hypothesized that maladaptive schemas and resilience would mediate the relationship between child sexual abuse and adult revictimization. The current study surveyed 406 college women at a New England state university using paper and pencil surveys. The women were predominantly European American with a mean age of approximately 20 years of age.^ Structural equation modeling and path analyses were employed to test the role of Maladaptive Schemas and Hardiness as potential mediators in the relationship between CSA and Sexual Trauma Symptoms and Sexual Coercion. Main effects between CSA and Sexual Trauma Symptoms and Sexual Coercion were significant in the path analyses only. Results also indicated that both decreased Sexual Coercion and Maladaptive Schemas significantly reduced the effect of CSA on Sexual Trauma Symptoms.^