Positive and negative adjustment and social support of sexual assault survivors

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Abstract

The roles of positive (i.e., growth) and negative (i.e., posttraumatic stress symptoms and general symptomatology) adjustment following adult sexual assault experience(s) were examined using a standardized definition of abuse. These reactions were explored in association with positive and negative support from formal and informal providers. Finally, using standardized measures, the collective impact of positive and negative support, formal and informal support were investigated in predicting positive and negative psychological adjustment. Both forms of informal support were found to be associated with positive outcomes. Only negative informal support was associated with posttraumatic stress symptoms. First responders should consider whether support resources are appropriate to victims' needs.

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