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The effects of revictimization on coping and depression in female sexual assault victims

Authors

  • Cynthia J. Najdowski,

    1. University of Illinois at Chicago
    Current affiliation:
    1. Department of Criminology, Law, and Justice, University of Illinois at Chicago.
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  • Sarah E. Ullman

    Corresponding author
    1. University of Illinois at Chicago
    Current affiliation:
    1. Department of Criminology, Law, and Justice, University of Illinois at Chicago.
    • Department of Criminiology, Law, and Justice, University of Illinois at Chicago, Behavioral Sciences Building, 1007 West Harrison Street (M/C 141), Chicago, IL 60607-7140.
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  • This research was supported by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism grant R01 #13445 to Sarah E. Ullman. We acknowledge Henrietta Filipas, Stephanie Townsend, Laura Starzynski, and Kelly Kinnison for assistance with data collection.

Abstract

To examine the effects of being revictimized, 555 women completed 2 mail surveys 1 year apart, reporting their experiences of sexual assault, the strategies they used to cope with those experiences, and feelings of depression. Path analyses, controlling for baseline coping and depression, revealed that those who were revictimized during the study reported using more maladaptive and adaptive coping strategies than did those who were not revictimized (β = .11 and β = .16, respectively). Further, women who were revictimized reported more depression than others (β = .15). This effect was explained in part by revictimized women's increased maladaptive coping. Results are consistent with other research showing that all of women's traumatic experiences must be taken into consideration to understand fully how sexual assault influences women's coping and recovery.

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