Contributions of Child Sexual Abuse, Self-Blame, Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms, and Alcohol Use to Women's Risk for Forcible and Substance-Facilitated Sexual Assault.

Abstract

Child sexual abuse and adult sexual assault have been linked to increased self-blame, posttraumatic stress symptoms, and alcohol use. The current study aims to examine (a) whether these constructs explain women's risk for later adult sexual assault and revictimization, (b) whether such factors differentially confer risk for specific types of adult sexual assault (i.e., substance-facilitated and forcible), and (c) if self-blame confers risk indirectly through other risk factors. Multiple types of self-blame, posttraumatic stress, and alcohol use were examined among 929 female college students as serial mediators of the relationship between child sexual abuse and adult sexual assault and as risk factors for sexual revictimization among child sexual abuse survivors. In the model predicting risk for substance-facilitated adult sexual assault, child sexual abuse indirectly predicted greater risk for substance-facilitated adult sexual assault mediated through two separate paths: global blame-to-posttraumatic-stress and global blame-to-alcohol use. In the model predicting risk for forcible adult sexual assault, child sexual abuse directly predicted greater risk for forcible adult sexual assault, and this relation was mediated by the global blame-to-posttraumatic-stress path. Among child sexual abuse survivors, child sexual abuse specific characterological and behavioral self-blame directly predicted greater risk for forcible and substance-facilitated revictimization, but the pathways were not mediated by posttraumatic stress or alcohol use. Results emphasize the importance of assessing different types of self-blame in predicting posttraumatic stress symptoms as well as examining risk for sexual victimization and revictimization. Findings did not support hypotheses that increased posttraumatic stress would predict increased alcohol use but did indicate that heightened self-blame is consistently associated with heightened posttraumatic stress and that heightened global self-blame predicts increased alcohol use. Implications for future research and intervention are discussed.

DOI: 10.1080/10538712.2016.1161688

Cite this paper

@article{Mokma2016ContributionsOC, title={Contributions of Child Sexual Abuse, Self-Blame, Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms, and Alcohol Use to Women's Risk for Forcible and Substance-Facilitated Sexual Assault.}, author={Taylor R Mokma and Lee R Eshelman and Terri L. Messman-Moore}, journal={Journal of child sexual abuse}, year={2016}, volume={25 4}, pages={428-48} }