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Female sexual self-schema after interpersonal trauma: Relationship to psychiatric and cognitive functioning in a clinical treatment-seeking sample

Authors

  • Leah M. Blain,

    Corresponding author
    1. University of Missouri-St. Louis
    Current affiliation:
    1. Department of Psychology, University of Missouri-St. Louis
    • Kathy J. Weinman Bldg., Lower Level, University of Missouri-St. Louis, One University Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63121-4400
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  • Tara E. Galovski,

    1. University of Missouri-St. Louis
    Current affiliation:
    1. Department of Psychology, University of Missouri-St. Louis
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  • Zoë D. Peterson

    1. University of Missouri-St. Louis
    Current affiliation:
    1. Department of Psychology, University of Missouri-St. Louis
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  • This work was supported by National Institute of Mental Health 1R34MH074937 and National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine 1R21AT004079 grants awarded to Tara E. Galovski. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the centers or institutes of the National Institutes of Health.

Abstract

This study assessed the relationship between sexual self-schema and posttraumatic functioning in a clinical sample of 112 female sexual assault survivors. Contrary to hypotheses, posttraumatic stress disorder and depressive symptom severity were unrelated to the valence of sexual self-schema. Yet, negative posttraumatic cognitions were related to sexual self-schemas. Specifically, less positive self-views were associated with more negative schema (r = −.35). In a multivariate analysis, the measure of negative views of the world and others was associated with more positive schema. Results indicate that intervening to improve survivors' postassault appraisals of the self may help to reduce the impact of interpersonal trauma on women's sexual functioning.

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