Date of Award

Spring 2014

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

Oswald, Debra

Second Advisor

Grych, John

Third Advisor

Franzoi, Stephen

Abstract

The current study used survey methodology to investigate the relationships among child sexual abuse, adult attachment, risky dating behaviors, and sexual assault. Specifically, it tested a model whereby attachment mediates a hypothesized relationship between child sexual abuse and risky dating behaviors, thus partially explaining sexual abuse survivors' risk of sexual assault (or revictimization). Results indicate that child sexual abuse relates to attachment anxiety but not to avoidance or the dating behaviors studied. While risky dating behaviors are associated with increased rates of sexual assault, most of them were not predicted by attachment. Attachment avoidance does relate, however, to some key high-risk dating behaviors, and attachment anxiety is associated with higher rates of sexual assault. Clinical and research implications are discussed.

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