Immediate Coping Strategies Among Rape Victims


  • Patricia A. Frazier,

    Associate Professor, Corresponding author
    1. Department of Psychology at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.
    • N565 Elliott Hall, Department of Psychology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455.

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  • Jeffery W. Burnett

    1. Sexual Medicine Center in Columbia, Missouri.
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This study provides descriptive information on the coping strategies used by rape victims and assesses the relations between coping strategies and symptoms in the immediate postrape period. Responses to 20 coping items suggested that taking precautions and thinking positively were among the most frequently endorsed coping strategies. Expressing feelings, seeking social support, counseling, and keeping busy were most often listed as helpful by victims on an open-ended question. Staying home and withdrawing were associated with higher symptom levels: keeping busy, thinking positively, and suppressing negative thoughts were associated with lower symptom levels. Implications for counseling and research are discussed.