Title page for ETD etd-05022006-115120

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Wells, Anthony Orlando
Author's Email Address wellsa@vt.edu
URN etd-05022006-115120
Title The Role of Perceived Social Support in the Relationship between Sexual victimization and Post-traumatic Stress Symptomatology among College Women
Degree Master of Science
Department Psychology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Scarpa-Friedman, Angela Committee Chair
Clum, George A. Jr. Committee Member
Jones, Russell T. Committee Member
  • revictimization
  • sexual victimization
  • perceived social support
  • Post-traumatic stress
Date of Defense 2006-05-01
Availability mixed
Sexual victimization is an act of interpersonal violence that affects the lives of many college women. Such incidents are often characterized by women as traumatic experiences which also result forms of psychological distress, with the most common being posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The relationship between sexual victimization and PTSD is strengthened by revictimization. Although perceived social support has been shown to play a protective role in the sexual victimization„³psychological distress relationship, there is also evidence that the moderating effect of perceived social support diminishes with chronic distress. Therefore, the current study assumed that there would be a changing role of perceived social support, from a moderator to a mediator, in the relationship between sexual victimization and PTSD. Three hundred college females (mean age 19) completed questionnaires related to sexual victimization experiences, perceived social support, and PTSD symptoms in addition to other personality and socio-demographic factors. The hypotheses were not supported. However, as with previous findings, the results showed that sexual victimization significantly predicted PTSD symptom severity.
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