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The roles of situational factors, attributions, and guilt in the well-being of women who have experienced sexual coercion.

Abstract: This study examined cognitive (attributions) and affective (guilt feelings) experiences of blame following sexual coercion and their association with women's psychological well-being. Sexual coercion was defined as any unwilling sexual experiences that occurred as a result of verbal pressure or physical force from another person. Women (N = 104) who had experienced sexual coercion completed questionnaires assessing psychological well-being (trauma symptoms, depression, self-esteem, sexual satisfaction), blame (internal and external attributions, guilt feelings), and characteristics of their most serious or upsetting experience of sexual coercion. A number of findings suggested that attributions and guilt feelings are related but distinct experiences for women and can have differing effects on women's psychological well-being. Multivariate multiple regression and hierarchical multiple regression analyses found that, as predicted, the blame variables predicted women's well-being over and above the situational characteristics of the coercive experience. The results are discussed in terms of the need to conceptualize self-blame as encompassing both "head" (attributions) and "heart" (emotions).

Introduction

Sexual coercion occurs when an individual uses verbal pressure or physical force to engage in sexual activity with a person who is unwilling (Faulkner, Kolts, & Hicks, 2008; Hartwick, Desmarais, & Henning, 2007; Struckman-Johnson & Struckman-Johnson, 1994). As such, sexual coercion can range from sexual touching to oral, anal and/or vaginal penetration. It can involve a variety of coercion tactics including verbal pressure, use of intoxicants, and/or actual or threatened physical force (Breitenbecher, 2006; Faulkner et al., 2008; Hartwick et al., 2007; O'Sullivan, Byers, & Finkelman, 1998). Some, but not all, of these activities would constitute crimes and not all women who experience sexual coercion consider themselves to be victims. Thus, we have used the descriptive phrase "experienced sexual coercion" to refer to the women in our study. We have used the term "coercer" to refer to the individuals who used pressure or force to engage in sexual activity.

It is not uncommon for young women to experience sexual coercion by men, with estimates of the prevalence ranging from 18% to 54% (Koss, Gidycz, & Wisniewski, 1987; O'Sullivan et al., 1998; Watts & Zimmerman, 2002). Further, both studies that have used broader and those that have used narrower definitions of sexual coercion have found that experiencing sexual coercion is associated with poorer psychological and sexual well-being (Elliott, Mok, & Briere, 2004; Koss, 1993; Mynatt & Allgeier, 1990; Neville & Heppner, 1999; Shapiro & Schwarz, 1997; Ullman, 1997; Ullman, Filipas, Townsend, & Starzynski, 2007a). However, not all women who have experienced sexual coercion exhibit adjustment problems; those that do experience symptoms that vary in their severity. Therefore, it is important to identify factors that affect the well-being of women who have experienced sexual coercion. The present study examined the extent to which situational characteristics of the sexual coercion as well as women's cognitive and affective responses to it are associated with their well-being. We assessed four psychological outcomes that have been shown to be associated with experiencing sexual coercion: symptoms of distress following a stressful or traumatic event (i.e., trauma symptoms), depression symptoms, self-esteem, and sexual satisfaction (Branscombe, Wohl, Owen, Allison, & N'gbala, 2003; Elliott et al., 2004; Lemieux & Byers, 2008; Offman & Matheson, 2004; Shapiro & Schwarz, 1997).

Self-blame attributions and guilt feelings

Following sexual coercion, women may find themselves trying to "make sense" of why they were victimized. Despite consciousness-raising efforts to the contrary, in doing so they may blame themselves for their victimization (Janoff-Bulman, 1979; Littleton, Magee, & Axsom, 2007; Vidal& Petrak, 2007). The sociopolitical context undoubtedly contributes to women's experience of self-blame following sexual coercion (Fine & Carney, 2001). Beliefs and stereotypes in many cultures assign blame to women for their own sexual victimization in at least some circumstances (Girard & Senn, 2008; Geiger, Fischer, & Eshet, 2004; Grubb & Harrower, 2008; Janoff-Bulman, 1979; Leonard, 1999). These sexual coercion supportive attitudes (also called rape myths) include such beliefs as: women say "no" when they mean "yes"; a women who goes to a man's residence is consenting to sex; it is acceptable to force a woman to have sex if the couple has engaged in sexual activity in the past; and, men cannot control their behaviour when they are highly sexually aroused (Anderson, 1999; Price, Byers, & the Dating Violence Research Team, 1999; Taylor & Sorenson, 2007). Further, even in unambiguous sexual coercion situations, women who have certain characteristics (e.g., are viewed as provocative, having low respectability, intoxicated) and who are acquainted with the coercer are attributed more blame for the sexual coercion than are women who do not have these characteristics (Anderson, 1999; Girard & Senn, 2008). Similarly, women who have experienced sexual coercion are socially encouraged to "look at themselves" for reasons as to why they were victimized (Anderson, 1999). In fact, making self-attributions following sexual coercion is a fairly common response with one-third to one-half of North American women placing at least some blame on themselves (Littleton et al., 2007; Ullman, 1997; Vidal & Petrak, 2007).

Self-blame is, in and of itself, one harmful outcome of sexual coercion. It also has been found to exacerbate other negative outcomes such as depression symptoms, trauma symptoms, and low self-esteem (Branscombe et al., 2003; Ullman et al., 2007a). However, little is known about the emotional distress associated with self-blame following sexual coercion. Kubany and Watson (2003) define guilt and self-blame as "an unpleasant feeling with accompanying beliefs that one should have thought, felt, or acted differently (with implications of responsibility, wrong-doing, and/or insufficient justification)" (p. 53). That is, they argued that guilt and self-blame consist of both an affective (distress, guilt feelings) and a cognitive (guilt-related cognitions, internal attributions) component. Indeed, they have shown that, for women in a physically abusive relationship, emotions and cognitions associated with self-blame are separate factors and each is associated with trauma symptoms, depression, and low-self-esteem (Kubany, Haynes, Abueg, Manke, Brennan, & Stahura, 1996). However, to date, examinations of self-blame following sexual coercion have focused mostly on internal attributions--that is, on the cognitive element--and have neglected to assess guilt feelings. Therefore, in this study we assessed both internal attributions (the cognitive component of self-blame) and guilt feelings (the affective component of self-blame).

Beck (1976) has argued that the way we perceive situations influences how we feel emotionally. Consistent with this view, in general, guilt-related cognitions (e.g., the belief that one should have behaved differently and therefore is in some way responsible for the event) have been shown to be associated with guilt-related emotions such as remorse or distress (Kubany & Watson, 2003; Lazarus, 1991; Tangney, Wagner, & Gramzow, 1992; Weiner, 1985). As such, it is likely that women who see themselves as more responsible for the sexual coercion (i.e., make stronger internal attributions) also experience stronger guilt feelings. However, emotions in general, and guilt feelings in particular, may not be totally determined by cognitive appraisals (MacLeod, 1999; Parkinson, 1999). Therefore, it is possible that women can experience high guilt but report weak internal attributions. However, researchers have not examined the interrelationships among internal attributions, external attributions, and guilt feelings following sexual coercion. Based on past research, we predicted that internal and external attributions would be positively associated. Further, given Kubany and Watson's (2003) conceptualization of self-blame and guilt as consisting of both cognitive and affective components, we expected that the relationship between guilt feelings and internal attributions would be significantly greater than the relationship between either construct and external attributions.

Attributions and adjustment

Researchers generally have asked women to make cognitive (and arguably rational) attributional judgments about responsibility for their experience of sexual coercion. According to Janoff-Bulman (1979), internal attributions following sexual assault can take one of two forms: a behavioural form in which a woman blames her assault on some aspect of her behaviour; and, a characterological form in which a woman blames her assault on some enduring flaw in her personality or character. Most researchers have found that both forms of internal attributions are associated with poorer adjustment including more trauma symptoms, higher depression symptoms, lower self-esteem, and lower sexual satisfaction (Arata & Burkhart, 1998; Frazier, 2000, 2003; Littleton & Breitkopf, 2006; Meyer & Taylor, 1986; Regehr et al., 1999; Ullman, Townsend, Filipas, & Starzynski, 2007b).

Some researchers have argued that blaming others or society for the sexual coercion is adaptive (Massad & Hulsey, 2006; Ullman, 1997). Further, counseling of women who have experienced sexual coercion often focuses on replacing self-blame with external blame. As such, it would be expected that women who place more blame on themselves would place less blame on external factors such as the coercer and society. However, higher self-blame is associated, in fact, with higher blame on external factors (Arata & Burkhart, 1998; Frazier, 2000; Koss, Figueredo, & Prince, 2002; Meyer & Taylor, 1986; Ullman, 1997). As is the case with internal attributions, external attributions also tend to be associated with poorer psychological well-being including greater depression and trauma symptoms and lower self-esteem (Arata & Burkhart, 1996; Branscombe et al., 2003; Frazier, 2000; Regehr et al., 1999). This may be because women who make stronger attributions to any source (internal or external) have lower resolution of the traumatic experience, are focused on the past rather than on controllable aspects of their lives, and have a greater feeling of vulnerability (Frazier, 2003; MacLeod, 1999; Ullman, 1997).

Guilt and adjustment

In keeping with theoretical perspectives that emphasize the key role of emotions in processing negative events, guilt also likely exacerbates other negative outcomes associated with sexual coercion (Greenberg, 2004; Shaver & Drown, 1986). However, this has not been investigated empirically. Further, consciousness-raising campaigns that stress that women are not to blame for sexual coercion may not undo the emotional impact of years of messages that women are to blame (Burt, 1980; Lottes, 1991). As such, a woman may experience a "head" versus "heart" discrepancy whereby she knows or thinks that she is not responsible for sexual coercion but nonetheless feels guilty. Thus, it is likely that guilt feelings, internal attributions, and external attributions make independent contributions to negative adjustment outcomes following sexual coercion. Because both strong internal attributions and strong guilt feelings are negative sequelae of sexual coercion, it is also likely that guilt moderates the relationships that have been found between internal and external attributions and well-being following sexual coercion. That is, it is likely that the relationships between internal and external attributions and well-being are stronger for individuals who experience high guilt than for individuals who experience low guilt. It is also likely that internal attributions moderate the relationship between external attributions and well-being. That is, in keeping with the argument that having both strong internal and strong external attributes is indicative of lower resolution of a stressful or traumatic event, we expected that external attributions would only be associated with well-being for individuals who make strong internal attributions.

Situational characteristics

According to Kubany and Watson (2003), following a stressful negative event such as sexual assault, situational variables that are associated with negative affect or with cognitions about one's own role in the outcome influence self-blame. Similarly, attribution theory proposes that when individuals attempt to make sense of negative events, they consider both internal and external (i.e., situational) factors (Weiner, 1985). We examined four situational characteristics that would be expected to affect women's attributions and guilt following sexual coercion: number of sexually coercive experiences, whether the experience involved intercourse or attempted intercourse, whether it involved use or threat of physical force, and familiarity with the coercer.

The traditional sexual script places responsibility on women for limiting sexual involvement in dating situations and thus assigns blame to women for their experiences of sexual coercion (Burt, 1980; Byers, 1996). Similarly, there are a number of commonly held myths about sexual assault and sexual coercion including the view that "real" sexual coercion is committed by a stranger using physical force--that is, crimes over which the woman has little control (Alicke, 2000; Fisher Daigle, Cullen, & Turner, 2003). These two overlapping sets of beliefs suggest that society places more blame on women who have experienced a greater number of sexually coercive experiences and who are sexually coerced by someone they know well who uses verbal coercion rather than physical force, and if the incident does not involve intercourse or attempted intercourse. Similarly, women would be expected to experience greater self-blame (that is, be more likely to look to their own behaviour or character for an explanation and experience guilt) if their sexually coercive experience had these characteristics.

Research supports these views. That is, sexually coerced women who have experienced fewer incidents of sexual coercion in the past report weaker internal attributions; women who are less familiar with the coercer, and who experience sexual coercion involving penetration also tend to report weaker internal attributions (Arata & Burkhart, 1998; Katz, 1991; Katz & Burt, 1988; Mynatt & Allgeier, 1990; Ullman, 1997; Ullman et al., 2007b). We found no research that compared self-blame for sexual coercion in situations involving verbal coercion versus physical force. However, Katz, Moore, and Tkachuk (2007) found that men attribute more responsibility to women who were coerced using verbal means than those coerced using physical force. Although it is likely that the relationships between these characteristics and guilt feelings are similar to those with internal attributions, this has not been studied empirically.

It would be expected that situational factors associated with stronger internal attributions would be associated with weaker external attributions. As would be expected, women who have experienced sexual coercion involving verbal coercion tend to make weaker external attributions for their victimization (Breitenbecher, 2006; Mynatt & Allgeier, 1990; Ullman, 1997). However, women with more previous victimizations report stronger not weaker external attributions (Breitenbecher, 2006; Ullman, 1997). We could find no studies that investigated the relationship between external attributions and either women's familiarity with the coercer or whether their experience involved intercourse. Nonetheless, based on the traditional sexual script and myths about "real" sexual coercion, we expected that women with these types of coercive experiences would make weaker external attributions.

Situational characteristics have been shown to have a negative impact on women's post-coercion adjustment. In particular, a greater number of coercive experiences, more severe assaults, and greater familiarity with the coercer are associated with poorer adjustment (Arata & Burkhart, 1998; Elliott et al., 2004; Katz & Burt, 1988; Koss, 1993; Littleton & Breitkopf, 2006; Neville & Heppner, 1999; Ullman, 1997; Ullman et al., 2007b). However, researchers have not examined whether attributions and guilt contribute uniquely to adjustment over and above these situational factors.

Hypotheses

H1. Internal attributions, external attributions, and guilt would be significantly positively correlated with each other.

H2. The magnitude of the association (correlation) between internal attributions and guilt would be significantly greater than the magnitude of the associations between external attributions and either internal attributions or guilt.

H3a. Women who report a greater number of sexual coercion experiences and who have experienced sexual coercion involving a coercer with whom they were more familiar and verbal coercion rather than physical force and that did not involve intercourse or attempted intercourse (situational variables) would report stronger internal attributions and greater guilt.

H3b. Women who report a greater number of sexual coercion experiences and who have experienced sexual coercion involving a coercer with whom they were less familiar, physical force, and intercourse or attempted intercourse would report stronger external attributions.

H4. Women who report stronger internal and external attributions and greater guilt would report lower wellbeing (more trauma symptoms, greater depression, lower self-esteem, and lower sexual satisfaction) over and above the association of the situational variables with their well-being.

H5a. Guilt would moderate the relationships between attributions and adjustment such that the relationship would be stronger for individuals who experience greater guilt.

H5b. Internal attributions would moderate the relationship between external attributions and adjustment such that attributions would only be associated with adjustment for individuals who make stronger internal attributions.

Finally, because sexual coercion involving physical force has been shown to be associated with both stronger attributions and poorer adjustment (Arata & Burkhart, 1999; Breitenbecher, 2006; Mynatt & Allgeier, 1990), we examined whether use of force (verbal coercion vs. physical force) moderated the relationships proposed in H3 and H4. Given the lack of previous research, no predictions were made.

Methods

Participants

Two hundred forty-nine women were recruited for a study of adult sexual experiences. The current sample consisted of the 119 participants (48%) who reported one or more experiences of sexual coercion. Fifteen of these participants were excluded from the sample leaving a final sample of 104: eight because of an excess of missing data, and seven to increase the homogeneity of the sample (four were older than 25 and three reported 15 or more years had passed since their experience of sexual coercion compared to an average of three years in the remainder of the sample). Participants ranged in age from 17 to 25 years (M = 19.1, SD = 1.7). Ninety-seven percent of participants identified their sexual orientation as heterosexual with three individuals identifying as bisexual. Although information about ethnic background was not obtained, in keeping with the homogeneous population of the province in which the study was conducted, the vast majority of participants were of white European descent. In terms of relationship status, 64% of participants were dating one person exclusively, married, or living with a romantic partner. Eighty-nine percent of participants reported having engaged in intercourse. Participants reported an average of 4.2 (SD = 6.7) sexual partners and 2.3 (SD = 1.1) serious relationships.

Measures

The Demographic and Sexual History Questionnaire consisted of 10-items and was used to obtain a range of demographic information and a brief dating and sexual history.

The Centre for Epidemiological Studies-Depression Scale (CES-D) (Radloff, 1977) is a 20-item self-report scale designed to assess symptoms of depression in the general population in the past week (e.g., "I felt sad"). The scale uses a 4-point response format ranging from "rarely/none of the time" (1) to "most/all of the time" (4). Possible scores range from 0 to 60, with higher scores indicating a greater frequency of depression symptoms. Radloff reported high internal consistency and test-retest correlations at two, four, six and eight weeks in the moderate range ([alpha] = .92 in the current study) and that the CES-D discriminates between psychiatric inpatients and the general population.

The Impact of Event Scale (IES) (Horowitz, Wilner & Alvarez, 1979) is a 15-item scale that measures symptoms of subjective distress following a stressful or traumatic event (e.g., "I stayed away from reminders of it"). Participants rated symptoms on a scale ranging from "not at all" (0) to "often" (5) to indicate how often they experienced each symptom during the past week with respect to the unwanted sexual experience. Responses are summed such that possible scores range from 0 to 75, with higher scores indicating greater frequency of trauma symptoms (Trauma Symptoms). Horowitz et al. reported that the split half reliability of the total scale was high. Sundin and Horowitz (2002) provided a favorable review of the evidence for the reliability, validity and sensitivity of the IES ([alpha] = .94 in the current study).

The Global Measure of Sexual Satisfaction (GMSEX) (Lawrance, Byers, & Cohen, in press) is a measure of sexual satisfaction in long-term relationships. The instructions were altered to make the scale appropriate for both women in and those not in a current romantic relationship. Participants rated their satisfaction with their current sex life along five bipolar dimensions ("good-bad, pleasant-unpleasant, positive-negative, satisfying-unsatisfying, and valuable-worthless"). Responses were summed such that possible scores ranged from 5 to 35, with higher scores indicating greater sexual satisfaction. Lemieux and Byers (2008) have provided evidence for the internal consistency and validity of the GMSEX with the revised instructions. The internal consistency was high in the present sample ([alpha] = .95).

The Self-Esteem Rating Scale (SERS) (Nugent & Thomas, 1993) is a 40-item measure that includes 20 positively worded and 20 negatively worded elements of self-esteem (e.g., "I feel that others do things much better than I do"). It employs a 14-point response format with end points "never" (1) to "always" (7) for positively worded items and "never" (-1) to "always" (-7) for negatively worded items. Responses are summed with possible scores ranging from -120 to 120. Higher scores indicate higher self-esteem. Nugent and Thomas reported that the SERS has excellent internal consistency and provided evidence of its convergent and divergent validity ([alpha] = .97 in the current sample).

The Sexual Experience Survey (SES) (Koss & Gidycz, 1985) was used as a screening instrument to identify participants who had experienced sexual coercion. We used the version revised by O'Sullivan et al. (1998) to be gender-neutral; they changed the term "man" to "person" or "someone", and "him" to "him or her". Respondents indicated whether they had ever had each of ten sexually coercive experiences after the age of 14 (e.g., "Since you were 14, have you had sexual intercourse when you didn't want to because a person threatened or used some degree of physical force (e.g., twisting your arm, holding you down, etc) to make you". Items described unwanted sexual fondling, attempted sexual intercourse, and sexual intercourse as a result of verbal pressure, threat or actual physical force, and other coercive strategies. Women who indicated that they had any of these coercive experiences were considered to have experienced sexual coercion and were included in the present sample. The construct validity of the original scale has been demonstrated through its association with interview responses.

The Sexual Coercion Characteristics Questionnaire (SCC) (O'Sullivan et al., 1998) was completed by participants who reported one or more incidents of sexual coercion on the SES. Participants indicated how many sexually coercive experiences they had experienced since the age of 14. Participants then were asked to respond to a series of questions about the incident of sexual coercion that they considered the most serious or most upsetting including the year that the incident took place and the gender of the coercer. Participants also rated how well they knew the coercer on 7-point scale familiarity ranging from "not at all" (1) to "extremely well" (7). Participants indicated all the sexual activities the person was trying to pressure or force them to engage in on a 7item checklist that included kissing/necking, fondling, oral sex, penile-vaginal intercourse and anal intercourse. These items were dichotomized to assess Type of Coercion (no intercourse vs. intercourse/ attempted intercourse). Individuals whose experiences involved vaginal and/or anal intercourse were coded as having experienced intercourse/attempted intercourse. Finally, participants indicated on a 13item checklist all of the coercive strategies used by the coercer. These items were dichotomized to assess Force (verbal coercion only vs. physical force/threat of physical force). Examples of items coded as verbal coercion included "verbal persuasion" (e.g., "I'11 leave you if you don't" or "If you love me you will") and "continual arguments and pleading". Items coded as physical force included "pushing, slapping or holding me down or mild roughness" and "verbal threats of physical injury".

The revised Attribution Scale (AS) (Meyer & Taylor, 1986; Arata & Burkhart, 1996) was used to assess internal and external causal attributions with respect to participants' most serious or upsetting experience of sexual coercion. The AS consists of 15 items that have been found to correspond to behavioural, characterological, or societal (external) attribution scales. Participants were asked to rate items "according to their importance in helping you explain why you think the experience occurred" on a scale ranging from "not at all" (1) to "completely" (7). Because research has found little distinction between behavioural and characterological attributions (Frazier 2000; 2003), we combined the nine behavioural and characterological items to form the Internal Attribution Scale (e.g., "I am a poor judge of character"; "I made a rash decision"). We used the six societal items to form the External Attributions Scale (e.g., "Men don't respect women"; "There is too much violence on T.V."). Scores on the Internal Attributions scale can range from 9 to 63 and scores on the External Attributions Scale range from 6 to 42. Both the Internal and External Attributions Scales obtained adequate internal consistency in the present sample ([alpha] = .73 and .78, respectively).

The Guilt Subscale of the Personal Feelings Questionnaire-2 Guilt Scale (Harder & Lewis, 1987; Harder & Zalma, 1990) is a 6-item scale that assesses trait guilt (e.g., "mild guilt, feeling you deserve criticism for what you did".) It was used to assess participants' guilt with respect to their most serious or upsetting experience of sexual coercion. This scale uses a 5-point response format ranging from "never" (0) to "continuously" (4). Scores can range from 0 to 24 with higher score indicating stronger guilt. Harder and Zalma reported adequate internal consistency and two week test-retest reliability. In order to assess guilt regarding the experience of sexual coercion rather than trait guilt, participants were asked to rate each feeling "reflecting how common the feeling is for you when you think about the unwanted sexual experience". The scale had good internal consistency in the current study ([alpha] =.80).

Procedure

Following approval from the university Research Ethics Board, women were recruited for a study on adult sexual experiences, including unwanted sexual experiences. Participants were drawn from Introductory Psychology classes at a mid-sized Canadian university and two local community colleges. Approximately 80% of participants were recruited from Introductory Psychology classes and received bonus points for their participation. Students at the community colleges were recruited through classroom announcements that provided a number of times during which they could come to a designated room to complete the questionnaires. Snacks were provided to these students. After providing informed consent, all participants completed questionnaires in small groups, seated at a sufficient distance from one another to ensure confidentiality of responses. Participants completed the Demographic and Sexual History Questionnaire first, followed by the CES-D, SERS, GMSEX and SES. The instructions then directed participants to complete different sections of the questionnaire booklet depending on whether they had endorsed one or more items related to experiences of sexual coercion. The two sections were of comparable length and time to complete. Upon completion of the study, participants received a debriefing document that included contact telephone numbers for local counseling resources and the e-mail addresses of the experimenters.

Data Analysis

H1 and H2 were tested using Pearson product moment correlations and Fisher's Z test, respectively. H3a, H4, and H5 were tested using multivariate multiple regression as an omnibus test to protect against Type I error. The significant multivariate effects were followed up with hierarchical multiple regression analyses using the same design. H3b was tested using multiple regression analysis. As recommended by Aiken and West (1991), interaction terms were calculated using partial products based on centered variables and simple slopes analyses were used to interpret significant interaction terms. Alpha was set at .05 for all analyses.

Results

Among the 119 participants who reported one or more experiences of sexual coercion since the age of 14, the mean number of such experiences was 2.7 (SD = 2.2). Participants were asked to provide information about the experience of sexual coercion that they considered the most serious or upsetting to them. These incidents had occurred, on average, three years earlier and all participants identified a male coercer. On the 7-point scale used to scale assess how well the participants knew the coercer in these incidents, 73.1% reported 5, 6 or 7. The midpoint of 4 indicated "somewhat familiar." The fact that 30% of all participants reported 6 on the scale and 30% reported 7 ("extremely well" known) makes it is clear that a sizeable majority of participants new the coercer well; 4.8% reported "not at all". For most participants (69.2%), sexual coercion involved multiple verbally coercive strategies (M = 3.0 verbally coercive strategies experienced by the Verbal Coercion group) but not physical force. However, 30.8% of the sample reported an experience that involved physical force or threat of physical force. About two-thirds (66.3%) of participants reported that the experience involved intercourse or attempted intercourse.

In relation to the outcome variables, participants, on average, reported mild internal attributions, external attributions, and guilt regarding their most upsetting experience of sexual coercion (Table 1). The findings also indicate they were not experiencing significant trauma or depression symptoms, had acceptable self-esteem, and were satisfied with their current sex life. The zero-order correlations among the variables used in this study are reported in Table 2. Using the criterion of r > .70 as suggested by Tabachnick and Fidell (2007), none of the correlations among the predictors was sufficiently large to indicate a problem with multicollinearity.

Internal attributions, external attributions, and guilt

To test the hypothesis that Internal Attributions, External Attributions, and Guilt would be significantly correlated with each other (Hl), we examined the zero-order correlations (see Table 2). As predicted, Internal Attributions and Guilt were significantly positively related to one another and to External Attributions. Fisher's Z-test indicated that, as predicted, the correlation between Internal Attributions and Guilt was significantly greater than the correlation between Guilt and External Attributions, Z = 2.56, p = .011. However, the correlation between Internal Attributions and Guilt did not differ reliably from the correlation between Internal Attributions and External Attributions, Z = 1.18, p > .05.

Predicting internal attributions, external attributions, and guilt

We used a multivariate multiple regression analysis to test the prediction that the situational variable set (Number of Incidents, Type of Coercion, Force, Familiarity) would be associated with stronger self-blame (Internal Attributions and Guilt; H3a). To test whether Force moderated these relationships, the interactions between Force and the other predictors were added on Step 2. In keeping with predictions, at Step 1 the Situational Variable Set significantly predicted self-blame, [F.sub.mult] (8, 196) = 2.15, p = .033. At Step 2, the interactions with Force added significantly to the equation, [F.sub.mult] (6, 182) = 2.24, p = .041.

Results from the follow-up multiple regression analyses are presented in Table 3. Neither the Situational Variable Set nor the interaction terms with Force were significantly associated with Internal Attributions, F (4, 99) = 1.20, p > .05 and [F-.sub.change] (3, 96) = 2.46, p > .05, respectively. However, the Situational Variable Set was significantly associated with Guilt, [R.sup.2] = .15, F (4, 99) = 4.21, p = .003. As predicted, women who had experienced more previous sexually coercive experiences and whose experience involved intercourse or attempted intercourse reported greater guilt. However, contrary to predictions, women who were less familiar with the coercer reported greater guilt. At Step 2, the interaction terms added significantly to the prediction of Guilt accounting for 8% additional variance, [F.sub.change] (3, 96) = 3.12,p = .030. The interaction between Force and Familiarity added uniquely to the equation (see Table 3). The results of the simple slopes tests (Aiken & West, 1991) are depicted in Figure 1. The analysis showed that Familiarity was negatively associated with Guilt for women who had experienced sexual coercion involving verbal coercion (B = -1.02, [beta] = -.38, p = .011), whereas Familiarity was not associated with Guilt for women who had experienced coercion involving physical force (B = -.02, [beta] = -.01, p > .05).

We conducted a hierarchical multiple regression analysis using the same design to predict External Attributions (H3b). The Situational Variables Set was significantly associated with External Attributions, [R.sup.2] =. 13, F (4, 99) = 3.69, p = .008. Consistent with predictions, women who had experienced incidents involving force or threat of force reported stronger External Attributions. Addition of the interaction terms with Force did not add significantly to the equation, [F-.sub.change] (3, 96) = 0.03, p > .05.

[FIGURE 1 OMITTED]

Predicting adjustment

We used a multivariate multiple regression analysis to test the hypothesis that stronger Internal Attributions and External Attributions and greater Guilt would be significantly associated with decreased well-being (higher Trauma Symptoms, greater Depression Symptoms, lower Self-Esteem, and lower Sexual Satisfaction) over and above the contribution of the situational variables. In keeping with H4, the Situational Variables Set was entered at Step 1 and the Blame Variable Set (Internal Attributions, External Attributions, and Guilt) was added at Step 2. To test the hypotheses that Guilt would moderate the relationships between both Internal Attributions and External Attributions and adjustment (H5a) and that Internal Attributions would moderate the relationship between External Attributions and adjustment (H5b), the interactions between Internal Attributions, External Attributions, and Guilt were entered at Step 3. Finally, to test whether Force moderated the relationships between the predictors and adjustment, the interactions between Force and the other predictors were entered at Step 4.

The Situational Variable Set was not significantly associated with the outcome variables, [F.sub.mult] (16, 245) = 1.04, p > .05. They were therefore not analyzed further. However, they were retained in the multiple regression analyses as control variables. Steps 2 and 3 added significantly to the equation, [F.sub.mult] (12, 212) = 3.02, p = .001 and [F.sub.mult] (12, 212) = 2.22, p = .012, respectively. Addition of the interaction terms with Force at Step 5 was not significant and they were not pursued further, [F.sub.mult] (24, 280) = 1.26, p > .05.

The results of the follow-up hierarchical multiple regression analyses are depicted in Table 4. At Step 2, the Blame Variable Set was significantly associated with all four measures of adjustment accounting for between 11% and 28% additional variance, [F-.sub.change] (3, 96) = 14.65, p < .001 for Trauma Symptoms, [F-.sub.change] (3, 96) = 4.48, p =.005 for Depression Symptoms, [F-.sub.change] (3, 96) = 7.17,p < .001 for Self-Esteem, and [F-.sub.change] 8e (3, 96) = 3.82,p =.012 for Sexual Satisfaction. On a bivariate basis (see Table 2), all three of the blame variables were significantly associated with Trauma Symptoms, Depression Symptoms, and Self-Esteem; External Attributions and Guilt were significantly correlated with Sexual Satisfaction. The women who made more internal and external attributions and experienced greater guilt reported more trauma symptoms, more depression symptoms, and lower self-esteem. In addition, women who reported stronger External Attributions and greater Guilt reported lower Sexual Satisfaction. However, only Guilt uniquely predicted Trauma Symptoms; only Internal Attributions uniquely predicted Self-Esteem; and only External Attributions uniquely predicted Sexual Satisfaction. None of the blame variables contributed uniquely to the prediction of Depression Symptoms.

At Step 3, the set of interaction terms between Internal Attributions, External Attributions, and Guilt contributed significantly to the prediction of Trauma Symptoms and Sexual Satisfaction, [F-.sub.change] (3, 93) = 3.55, p = .017 and [F-.sub.change] (3, 93) = 5.46, p = .002, respectively. Internal Attributions interacted significantly with both External Attributions and Guilt for Trauma Symptoms; External Attributions interacted significantly with Guilt for Sexual Satisfaction. As depicted in Figure 2a, the results of the first simple slopes analysis showed that External Attributions were positively associated with Trauma Symptoms for women with strong Internal Attributions (B = 1.01, [beta] = .39, p < .001), whereas External Attributions were not significantly associated with Trauma Symptoms for women with weak Internal Attributions (B =. 19, [beta] = .08, p > .05). The second simple slopes analysis (Fig. 2b) indicated that Internal Attributions were not associated with Trauma Symptoms for women with high Guilt (B = 0.10, [beta] = .05, p > .05) whereas they were positively associated with Trauma Symptoms for women with low Guilt (B = 0.57, [beta] = .26, p = .049). We also examined whether Internal Attributions qualified the main effect between Guilt and Trauma Symptoms. Guilt and Trauma Symptoms were positively associated for both women with high internal attributions and for those with low internal attributions (B = 1.51, [beta] = .39, p < .001 and B = 2.32, [beta] = .60, p < .001). Finally, the third simple slopes analysis (see Fig. 3) examined whether Guilt qualified the relationship between External Attributions and Sexual Satisfaction. For women with low Guilt, External Attributions were negatively associated with Sexual Satisfaction (B = -.53, [beta] = -.54, p < .001) whereas for women with high Guilt, External Attributions were not associated with Sexual Satisfaction (B = .24, [beta] = .25, p > .05).

[FIGURE 2 OMITTED]

[FIGURE 3 OMITTED]

Discussion

This study examined women's cognitive (attributions) and affective (guilt) experiences of blame following their most serious or upsetting event of sexual coercion and the association of these experiences of blame with women's psychological well-being. Consistent with cognitive-behavioural theory (Beck, 1976), the more women thought that they were responsible for the sexual coercion they experienced, the guiltier they felt about it and vice versa. Also consistent with past research (Arata, 1999; Koss et al., 2002), women who made stronger internal attributions also made stronger external attributions. In addition, stronger external attributions were related to experiencing stronger guilt.

However, a number of our results suggest that attributions and guilt feelings, although related, are distinct experiences for women as proposed by Kubany and Watson (2003). First, although as predicted guilt was more strongly related to internal attributions than to external attributions, internal attributions and guilt feelings only shared 27% of their variance. As such, women may experience one without the other or may experience one aspect more intensely than the others. This may lead to a "head" versus "heart" experience. This finding suggests that self-blame following sexual coercion is more complex than typically conceptualized in research in that women may "know" (head) that they are not responsible for sexual coercion yet continue to "feel" guilty ("heart"). Second, the associations between various characteristics of the sexual coercion (e.g., whether force was used) and internal attributions, external attributions, and guilt were not the same. This suggests that situational characteristics affect women's cognitive and emotional responses to experiences of sexual coercion in different ways. Finally, we found that: internal attributions moderated the relationship between trauma symptoms and external attributions; guilt moderated the relationship between trauma symptoms and internal attributions; and, guilt moderated the relationship between sexual satisfaction and external attributions. These findings indicate the existence of more complex relationships between cognitions, emotions and well-being following sexual coercion beyond those investigated in prior research. Future studies should identify the factors that result in a discrepancy between women's cognitive and emotional responses to their sexually coercive experiences. Two likely factors that merit investigation are women's coping strategies and the reactions of other people in women's lives (Ullman et al., 2007a & b).

Women's adjustment following sexual coercion

We found evidence that both cognitive and emotional responses to sexual coercion are associated with women's psychological well-being. Consistent with prior research (Arata, 1999; Branscombe et al., 2003; Littleton, & Breitkopf, 2006; Shapiro & Schwarz, 1997; Ullman et al., 2007a & b), on a bivariate basis stronger internal and external attributions were associated with increased symptoms of trauma, increased symptoms of depression, and decreased self-esteem; stronger external attributions also were associated with lower sexual satisfaction. We extended past research by showing that guilt also was associated with all four of these negative psychological outcomes. Further, the blame variables were associated with poorer psychological well-being after controlling for characteristics of the situation and regardless of whether verbal coercion or physical force was used. This suggests that it is women's cognitive and affective responses to sexual coercion more than the objective characteristics of the sexual coercive experience that most affect their well-being. Future research needs to investigate emotional responses following sexual coercion other than guilt that might also affect women's adjustment. For example, Vidal and Petrak (2007) showed that shame following sexual coercion is associated with some negative psychological outcomes.

External attributions were not uniquely associated with trauma symptoms, depression symptoms or low self-esteem when guilt and internal attributions were controlled for. Similarly, Breitenbecher (2006) found that external attributions did not predict trauma symptoms over and above internal attributions. This suggests that some previous findings demonstrating a relationship between external attributions and poor psychological adjustment may have been due to the overlap of external attributions with internal attributions and/or guilt. Further, external attributions were only related to trauma symptoms when they co-occurred with strong internal attributions. These results are in keeping with the findings of research concluding that the reason that both internal and external attributions have been found to be associated with poorer psychological well-being is that women making stronger attribution have lower resolution of the traumatic experience and thus are focused on the past (Frazier, 2003; MacLeod, 1999; Ullman, 1997). Women who make low internal attributions but high external attributions likely are not focused on the past, and thus do not experience higher trauma symptoms than do women with low internal and low external attributions.

Unique roles of attributions and guilt in women's psychological well-being

The present study has also extended past research by demonstrating the unique roles of internal attributions, external attributions and guilt in women's adjustment following sexual coercion. Those effects are reflected in each of the four measures of psychological well-being discussed below.

Trauma symptoms

Only guilt was uniquely associated with trauma symptoms over and above the other blame variables. In addition, internal attributions were uniquely associated with trauma symptoms but only for women who experienced lower guilt. This suggests that guilt represents the deeper impact of sexual coercion to a woman beyond her cognitive appraisals of her actions and judgment of societal factors. As Herman (1992) stated, "(t)he survivor's shame and guilt may be exacerbated by the harsh judgment of others, but is not fully assuaged by simple pronouncements absolving her from responsibility ..." (p. 69). That is, women experience both a "heart" and a "head" response to their sexual coercion, with "heart" being particularly important to understanding the emergence of trauma symptoms even when a woman "knows" that she is not responsible. Failure to also assess the emotional responses of women who have experienced sexual coercion may account for the inconsistent results of past research investigating the relationship between internal attributions and trauma symptoms (e.g., Arata, 1999; Arata & Burkhart, 1996; Regehr et al., 1999).

Self-esteem

Past research has shown that women who make more internal attributions for their sexually coercive experiences have lower self-esteem (Branscombe et al., 2003; Katz & Burt, 1988; Littleton & Breitkopf, 2006). We extended these findings by showing that internal attributions uniquely predicted self-esteem over and above the contributions of guilt and external attributions. It may be that believing that one did something that caused one's own sexually coercive experience results in lower self-esteem generally, over and above the effects on self-esteem of making external attributions and experiencing guilt. However, it also may be that women who have low self-esteem are more likely to look toward themselves for explanations of the negative things that happen to them. Indeed, Katz and Burt (1988) argued that both self-blame and low self-esteem represent a negative self-view. However, Branscombe et al. (2003) did not find that low well-being among women who have experienced sexual coercion leads to more self-blame.

Sexual satisfaction

Stronger external attributions were uniquely associated with lower sexual satisfaction; however, this was only true for women who experienced low guilt. Our participants tended to report weaker guilt feelings when the coercer was more familiar to them and used verbal coercion rather than physical force. It is likely that many of these were incidents of sexual coercion by a romantic partner and that at least some of these women continued the relationship after the incident (Archibald & Byers, 2005). Offman and Matheson (2004) have shown that women in a sexually coercive relationship have a more negative sexual self-perception than do women who are not in a sexually coercive relationship. These authors speculated that having more negative sexual self-perceptions may decrease women's sense of control over the sexual interactions in their relationship and thus their assertiveness in expressing their own sexual needs. Guilt following sexual coercion is unwarranted and harmful. Nevertheless, external attributions in the absence of guilt feelings may tend to result in learned helplessness and thus, in turn, lower sexual satisfaction both in the sexually coercive and in future relationships.

The role of situational characteristics in women's psychological well-being

We found very limited evidence that the traditional sexual script and myths about sexual coercion affect women's self-blame and/or their adjustment. Specifically, and contrary to past research (e.g., Katz, 1991; Katz & Burt, 1988; Littleton et al., 2007; Mynatt & Allgeier, 1990; Ullman, 1997), the situational characteristics we assessed were not associated with women's internal attributions. Similarly, the extent of women's external attributions was not associated with the number of past incidents, whether the coercion-involved actual or attempted intercourse, or with the woman's familiarity with the coercer. In addition, for the women who had experienced sexual coercion involving physical force, familiarity was not associated with guilt. Further, the women who had experienced verbal coercion who were less familiar with the coercer reported stronger rather than weaker guilt feelings as predicted. In addition, use of force was not associated with guilt. Finally, the situational variables were not associated with any of our measures of psychological adjustment.

Only two of our predictions based on the traditional sexual script were supported: women with a history of more sexual coercive experiences reported greater guilt about their most upsetting experience of sexual coercion as did women who experienced sexual coercion that involved penetration or threat of penetration. These variables were not related to internal or external attributions, however. As would be expected, few of the women in our sample were sexually coerced by strangers. Indeed, about three-quarters of the women were more than somewhat familiar with the coercer. Thus, it may be that these women had consented to lower levels of sexual involvement prior to being sexually coerced. If so, these findings suggest that women, particularly women who have been in similar situations in the past, may "know" that they are not to blame when they are unable to prevent unwanted sexual activity, but nonetheless "feel" guilty. This would be consistent with the traditional sexual script that holds women responsible for limiting sexual involvement. However, given that most of the predictions based on the traditional sexual script were not supported and that each of these relationships only accounted for 4% of the variance, it is important to replicate these results.

Consistent with past research (Breitenbecher, 2006; Mynatt & Allgeier, 1990; Ullman, 1997), the women who were coerced by actual or threatened physical force made more external attributions. However, they did not make fewer internal attributions or experience less guilt. It is likely that force is used most often when a woman has clearly indicated her non-consent to the sexual activity and thus, it is easier for women to look for external reasons for the sexual coercion. Indeed, Katz et al. (2007) found that women were seen to have less control in sexually coercive scenarios involving physical force.

Limitations and implications

The results of this study must be interpreted in light of its limitations. First, research is needed using more diverse community samples as our participants were primarily young, White, undergraduate women. Second, because we relied on women's retrospective self-reports, we cannot draw definitive conclusions about the causal relationships between variables. Thus, it is possible that low self-esteem, high depression symptoms, high trauma symptoms, and low sexual satisfaction make women vulnerable to experiencing high guilt and strong attributions following sexual coercion rather than vice versa. Longitudinal research is needed to determine how situational factors influence women's attributions and guilt as well as how attributions and guilt feelings influence women's well-being following sexual coercion. Third, there are a number of situational characteristics that may affect women's attributions and guilt that we did not assess including whether the women had consumed alcohol or drugs, how they responded to the sexually coercive incident, and whether they had a history of child sexual abuse. Fourth, our measure of guilt was adapted from a trait measure. Although it had good internal consistency in the present study, the validity of this measure for assessing guilt feelings following sexual coercion is not known. Thus, future research investigating the role of cognitions and affect following sexual assault needs to use established measures of guilt-related cognitions and affect related to specific events such as the Trauma-Related Guilt Inventory (Kubany et al., 1996). Finally, we included women who had experienced a broad range of sexually coercive experiences in our sample. We also combined experiences that involved the threat of force with experiences that involved actual force, as well as experiences that involved attempted penetration with those that involved penetration. Research is needed that uses large enough samples to examine the roles of guilt and attributions in women who have experienced different types of sexual coercion.

On average, the women in our sample experienced only mild self-blame and were well-functioning. Nonetheless, the results have some practical implications, particularly if they are replicated with clinical samples of women. That is, they suggest that if women are to fully recover from the negative outcomes of sexual coercion, therapeutic interventions need to not only target women's cognitions but also to address their emotional responses. This will require interventions that go beyond cognitive restructuring and psycho-education toward helping women process deeper emotional meanings. This will help women to not only "know" that they are not to blame but also to not feel guilty or ashamed about their own victimization. As well, educational campaigns need to provide information about the frequent discrepancy between "head" and "heart" that women experience following sexual coercion.

Acknowledgements: This research was conducted in partial fulfilment of the first author's requirements for the doctoral degree in clinical psychology at the University of New Brunswick under the supervision of the second author. The authors would like to thank the Human Sexuality Research Group at the University of New Brunswick for their valued input on the methodology of this study and Hilary Randall for her assistance in data collection.

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Shannon A. Glenn (1) and E. Sandra Byers (1)

(1) Department of Psychology, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton NB

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to E. Sandra Byers, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, NB, Canada E3B 5A3. E-mail: byers@unb.ca
Table 1
Participants' mean scores on outcome variables

Outcome (score range)          Mean     SD

Internal Attributions (9-63)   26.0     8.0
External Attributions (6-42)   14.1     6.9
Guilt (0-24)                    7.1     4.6
Trauma Symptoms (0-75)         18.4    17.8
Depression Symptoms (0-60)     16.8    11.0
Self-Esteem (-120 to 120)      52.2    34.5
Sexual Satisfaction (5-35)     27.3     6.7

Note. N = 104 participants, higher scores reflect greater
frequency or greater degree.

A participant's score is the sum of the scale scores for
each item in the outcome measure.

Scale ranges and number of item: internal attributions (1-7,
9 items); external attributions (1-7, 6 items); guilt
(0-4, 6 items); trauma symptoms (0-5,15 items); depression
symptoms (1-4, 20 items; self-esteem (1-7 negative and positive,
20 items each); sexual satisfaction (1-5, 7 items each).

Table 2
Zero order correlations among the variables included in the study

                                 2       3       4      5

1   Number of Incidents        .21 *   .29 **   .18    .09
2   Type of Coercion                   .25 **   .10    .17
3   Force                                       .05    .12
4   Familiarity with Coercer                          -.08
5   Internal Attributions
6   External Attributions
7   Guilt Feelings
8   Trauma Symptoms
9   Depression Symptoms
10  Self-Esteem
11  Sexual Satisfaction

                                 6         7         8

1   Number of Incidents        .15        .22 *     .17
2   Type of Coercion           .15        .27 **    .18
3   Force                      .33 ***    .08       .31 **
4   Familiarity with Coercer   .16       -.15      -.06
5   Internal Attributions      .39 ***    .52 ***   .40 ***
6   External Attributions                 .21 *     .36 ***
7   Guilt Feelings                                  .54 ***
8   Trauma Symptoms
9   Depression Symptoms
10  Self-Esteem
11  Sexual Satisfaction

                                 9          10         11

1   Number of Incidents         .14       -.12        .07
2   Type of Coercion            .10       -.11       -.01
3   Force                       .02        .00        .09
4   Familiarity with Coercer   -.02        .11       -.01
5   Internal Attributions       .31 ***   -.41 ***   -.18
6   External Attributions       .27 **    -.28 **    -.22 *
7   Guilt Feelings              .22 *     -.29 **    -.22 *
8   Trauma Symptoms             .30 **    -.39 ***   -.06
9   Depression Symptoms                   -.70 ***   -.24 *
10  Self-Esteem                                       .32 ***
11  Sexual Satisfaction

Note. N = 104 participants.

Type of Coercion: no intercourse versus intercourse/
attempted intercourse

Force: no force versus force/threat of force

Familiarity: how well coercer was known to participant

* p <.05 ** p <.01 *** p <.001.

Table 3

Multiple regression analysis predicting internal
attributions, external attributions and guilt from
situational variables

                                      Internal Attributions

Predictors                         [beta]     sr     [R.sup.2]

Step 1 -Situational Variables                           .05
 Set
    Number of Incidents               .06      .05
    Type of Coercion                  .15      .14
    Force                             .07      .06
    Familiarity with Coercer         -.11     -.11
Step 2--Interactions of                                 .07
 Situational Variables and Force
    Number of Incidents x Force      -.01     -.01
    Type of Coercion x Force          .64      .19
    Familiarity x Force               .17      .17

                                              Guilt

Predictors                         [beta]     sr     [R.sup.2]

Step 1 -Situational Variables                          .15 **
 Set
    Number of Incidents               .21    .20 *
    Type of Coercion                  .26    .24 **
    Force                            -.04   -.04
    Familiarity with Coercer         -.22   -.21 *
Step 2--Interactions of                                .08 *
 Situational Variables and Force
    Number of Incidents x Force      -.03   -.03
    Type of Coercion x Force          .61    .18
    Familiarity x Force               .21    .20 *

                                      External Attributions

Predictors                          [beta]    sr     [R.sup.2]

Step 1 -Situational Variables                           .13 **
 Set
    Number of Incidents               .03    .02
    Type of Coercion                  .05    .05
    Force                             .30    .28 **
    Familiarity with Coercer          .14    .13
Step 2--Interactions of                                 .00
 Situational Variables and Force
    Number of Incidents x Force       .00    .00
    Type of Coercion x Force          .00    .00
    Familiarity x Force              -.03   -.03

Note. N = 104 participants.

Type of Coercion: no intercourse versus intercourse/
attempted intercourse

Force: no force versus force/threat of force.

* p <.05 ** p <.01 *** p <.001.

Table 4 Predicting adjustment from control variables, situational
characteristics, guilt, internal attributions, and external
attributions

                                              Trauma Symptoms

Predictors                          [beta]      sr      [R.sup.2]-chng

Step 1--Situational Variables Set                          .12 *
  Number of Incidents                .09      .08
  Type of Coercion                   .10      .10
  Force                              .26      .24 *
  Familiarity with Coercer          -.10     -.09
Step 2--Blame Variables Set                                .28 ***
  Internal Attributions              .06      .05
  External Attributions              .17      .15
  Guilt Feelings                     .47      .38 ***
Step 3--Interactions of                                    .06 *
    Attributions and Guilt
  Internal Attributions x            .27      .19 *
    External Attributions
  Internal Attributions x Guilt     -.18     -.17 *
    Feelings
  External Attributions x Guilt     -.05     -.03
    Feelings

                                    Depression Symptoms

Predictors                          [beta]    sr    [R.sup.2]-chng

Step 1--Situational Variables Set                      .03
  Number of Incidents                .15      .14
  Type of Coercion                   .09      .08
  Force                             -.04     -.04
  Familiarity with Coercer          -.05     -.05
Step 2--Blame Variables Set                            .12 **
  Internal Attributions              .20      .16
  External Attributions              .21      .18
  Guilt Feelings                     .04      .03
Step 3--Interactions of                                .02
    Attributions and Guilt
  Internal Attributions x            .09      .07
    External Attributions
  Internal Attributions x Guilt     -.11     -.10
    Feelings
  External Attributions x Guilt     -.10     -.07
    Feelings

                                    Self-Esteem

Predictors                          [beta]     sr      [R.sup.2]-chng

Step 1--Situational Variables Set                         .04
  Number of Incidents               -.14     -.13
  Type of Coercion                  -.11     -.10
  Force                              .06      .06
  Familiarity with Coercer           .14      .14
Step 2--Blame Variables Set                               .18 ***
  Internal Attributions             -.29     -.24 **
  External Attributions             -.20     -.17
  Guilt Feelings                    -.05     -.04
Step 3--Interactions of                                   .01
    Attributions and Guilt
  Internal Attributions x           -.11     -.08
    External Attributions
  Internal Attributions x Guilt      .02      .02
    Feelings
  External Attributions x Guilt      .05      .04
    Feelings

                                    Sexual Satisfaction

Predictors                          [beta]     sr      [R.sup.2]-chng

Step 1--Situational Variables Set                         .01
  Number of Incidents                .06      .05
  Type of Coercion                  -.05     -.04
  Force                              .09      .08
  Familiarity with Coercer          -.02     -.02
Step 2--Blame Variables Set                               .11 *
  Internal Attributions             -.02     -.01
  External Attributions             -.23     -.20 *
  Guilt Feelings                    -.20     -.16
Step 3--Interactions of                                   .13 **
    Attributions and Guilt
  Internal Attributions x            .08      .06
    External Attributions
  Internal Attributions x Guilt     -.04     -.04
    Feelings
  External Attributions x Guilt      .35      .24 **
    Feelings

Note. N =104 participants. Incident = number of different incidents

Type of Coercion: no intercourse versus intercourse/attempted
intercourse

Force: no force versus force/threat of force.

* p<.05 ** p<.01 *** p<.001.
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Author:Glenn, Shannon A.; Byers, E. Sandra
Publication:The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Dec 22, 2009
Words:10843
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