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Title:The Psychological Impact of Sexual Harassment and Previous Sexual Victimization in a Sample of Class Action Litigants
Author(s):Reed, Maggie Esther
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Fitzgerald, Louise F.
Department / Program:Psychology
Discipline:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:Ph.D.
Genre:Dissertation
Subject(s):Psychology, Clinical
Abstract:The present study examines the effects of sexual harassment on psychological outcomes in a sample of women involved in a sexual harassment class-action lawsuit (n = 492). Sexual harassment was found to predict symptoms of PTSD, general symptoms of anxiety, and cognitive schema related to trusting others, over and above the effects of previous victimization and other relevant personal variables. Previous victimization had a stronger impact on symptoms of depression and self-esteem than did sexual harassment. In addition, the effects of previous victimization and sexual harassment on outcomes appeared to be independent and cumulative. Finally, the author tested a model of the effects of sexual harassment and previous victimization, in which subjective appraisal of sexual harassment and damage to cognitive schemas mediated the relationships between sexual traumas and subsequent psychological harm. Consistent with Fitzgerald and colleagues' (1995; 1997) model, subjective appraisal of sexual harassment was found to partially mediate the relationship between sexual harassment frequency and psychological outcomes. In addition, damage to cognitive schema was found to partially mediate the relationship between sexual harassment and outcomes. Damage to cognitive schema had a particularly strong impact on psychological symptomatology and general well-being. Finally, previous victimization was unrelated to subjective appraisal of sexual harassment as more stressful, but instead had a direct impact on damage to cognitive schema and subsequent psychological outcomes. Legal, clinical, and policy implications of these results are discussed.
Issue Date:2004
Type:Text
Language:English
Description:94 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2004.
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/82068
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3153410
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2004


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