Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
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.