Title page for ETD etd-04292011-181333

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Schry, Amie Rebecca
URN etd-04292011-181333
Title Social Anxiety as a Risk Factor of Sexual Victimization in College Women
Degree Master of Science
Department Psychology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
White, Susan W. Committee Chair
Axsom, Daniel K. Committee Member
Bray, Bethany C. Committee Member
  • assertiveness
  • sexual assault
  • alcohol-related problems
  • social anxiety
Date of Defense 2011-04-19
Availability unrestricted
Sexual victimization is a significant problem on college and university campuses, and it is important to evaluate risk factors for sexual victimization in order to attempt to reduce women’s risk of victimization. This study investigated social interaction anxiety as a risk factor for sexual victimization. It was hypothesized that social interaction anxiety may increase risk of sexual victimization by decreasing sexual assertiveness and increasing alcohol-related problems. College women (n = 690) completed an online survey that assessed social interaction anxiety, sexual assertiveness, alcohol-related problems, and a variety of types of sexual victimization, in addition to other measures. When total effects were examined, social interaction anxiety only significantly predicted victimization by coercion. However, when indirect effects of sexual assertiveness were examined, social interaction anxiety had a significant effect on all types of sexual victimization (i.e., unwanted sexual contact, attempted coercion, coercion, attempted rape, and rape). Alcohol-related problems did not significantly account for the relationship between social interaction anxiety and sexual victimization. It is recommended that interventions designed to reduce women’s risk of victimization include interventions designed to address both social interaction anxiety and sexual refusal assertiveness.
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