Sexual Revictimization During Women's First Year of College: Self-Blame and Sexual Refusal Assertiveness as Possible Mechanisms
Although sexual victimization during adolescence increases risk for later revictimization, mechanisms for increased risk among new college students have not been identified. In this study, the authors explored two possible mechanisms for revictimization: increased self-blame and decreased sexual refusal assertiveness (SRA). Female undergraduates (N = 87) were assessed at the start and end of their first academic year. Those who reported initial sexual victimization at Time 1 were more likely than other women to report later college victimization at Time 2. Path analyses showed that self-blame and decreased SRA explained this effect. Specifically, initial victimization was associated with increased self-blame; in turn, self-blame indirectly predicted later college victimization via decreased SRA. The authors suggest that prevention efforts focused on self-blame and other barriers to SRA may reduce risk for revictimization during women's transition to college. Modified Author Abstract.