Health promoting behaviors in women with and without sexual assault histories
In the last two decades, the emotional, psychological and social impact of sexual assault has been well documented, yet the potential physical health repercussions of sexual assault have only begun to be studied. It has been observed that a variety of psychosocial stressors may influence health perception and subsequent health care utilization among those with sexual assault histories, and that the experience of sexual assault may have particular implications for both immediate and long-term health. ^ The purpose of the present study was to apply structural equation modeling techniques to a series of hypothesized models of sexual assault experience and health promotion behaviors. These models were derived from the relevant literature, and focused specifically on the role of sexual assault status (e.g., history of child or adult sexual victimization), cognitive appraisal (e.g., health locus of control, meaning in life), and coping (e.g., coping style) in predicting health promoting behaviors. It was expected that health promotion/self care would be significantly predicted by sexual assault factors, through the mediation of coping and cognitive appraisal. Models hypothesizing both direct, and mediational effects of the various independent variables were tested. Two “preferred” are presented which are based on the stress and coping models, but which also incorporate health locus of control as a more proximal mediator to health promoting behaviors. These two models are consistent with theory on situation specific predictors of behavior, which suggests that all behaviors are determined by situation specific factors rather than by personality specific factors. Additionally, differences were found in coping strategies between women with and without sexual abuse histories. Implications of findings from the present study for health outcomes in women with child and adult sexual trauma histories are discussed. ^
Psychology, Behavioral|Women's Studies|Health Sciences, Public Health
Jennifer Parsons Read,
"Health promoting behaviors in women with and without sexual assault histories"
Dissertations and Master's Theses (Campus Access).