Coping with the experience of rape

Heather Littleton, Carmen Radecki Breitkopf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

85 Scopus citations

Abstract

The coping strategies that a victim of a rape engages in can have a strong impact on the development and persistence of psychological symptoms. Research provides evidence that victims who rely heavily on avoidance strategies, such as suppression, are less likely to recover successfully than those who rely less heavily on these strategies. The present study utilized structural path analysis to identify predictors of avoidance coping following rape and examined factors in the assault itself (e.g., force, alcohol use), sequelae of the assault (e.g., self-blame, loss of self-worth), and social support as potential direct and indirect predictors of avoidance coping. From a sample of 1,253 university women, the responses of 216 women who endorsed an experience of rape were examined. Results suggested that sequelae of the assault such as feelings of self-blame and negative reactions received from others are potentially important predictors of avoidance coping. Implications of the results for future rape recovery research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)106-116
Number of pages11
JournalPsychology of Women Quarterly
Volume30
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2006

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)

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