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Title:How perpetrator relationships and sexual assault characteristics affect survivor wellness outcomes
Author(s):Rhoades, Kathryn Lorette
Advisor(s):Gobin, Robyn
Contributor(s):Napolitano, Chris; Xia, Yan; Kinderman, Lisa; Khuri, Lydia
Department / Program:Educational Psychology
Discipline:Educational Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):sexual assault
path analysis
Abstract:Previous research indicates that adverse wellness outcomes among sexual assault (SA) survivors may be linked SA context (e.g., relationship to perpetrator and sexual assault characteristics). However, previous studies examining SA context have produced mixed results regarding its impact on wellness, particularly when examining the effect of survivor-perpetrator relationships and perpetrator sex. Using data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (BRFSS), this study examined the effect of perpetrator relationships (former partner, current partner, stranger, relative, friend) and SA characteristics (SA type, survivor sex, perpetrator sex) on general health (GH), mental health (MH), physical health (PH), health-related quality of life (HRQL), and missed days of work (MDW) among sexual assault survivors (N =1,477). A path analysis revealed several direct and indirect pathways. More severe SA was directly and indirectly associated with worse GH, MH, PH, and MDW. Male perpetrator sex resulted in worse MH and PH (direct effect) and worse HRQL (indirect effect) while female perpetrator sex was directly associated with worse HRQL. Being a male survivor was indirectly associated with worse HRQL and MDW. Results of this study suggest that survivor-perpetrator relationships and SA characteristics matter for understanding survivor’s wellness. Future studies and interventions that acknowledge SA context may be useful for bolstering survivor recovery and effective treatment planning.
Issue Date:2021-12-10
Rights Information:Copyright 2021 Kathryn Rhoades
Date Available in IDEALS:2022-04-29
Date Deposited:2021-12

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