Fear of intimacy and attachment among rape survivors

Mark H. Thelen, Michelle D. Sherman, Tiffany S. Borst

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

The purpose of the present study was to investigate attachment and fear of intimacy among rape survivors. As previous research has documented that several domains of functioning are affected by the experience of rape, it was hypothesized that the survivors may have difficulties with attachment and intimacy. Subjects were selected from an undergraduate general psychology class on the basis of responses to a questionnaire on sexual experiences. All of the subjects were female and included 44 rape survivors and 57 controls. As predicted, rape survivors reported greater fear surrounding intimacy. Survivors also differed from the controls on all of the attachment dimensions. They reported less confidence in others' dependability, less comfort with closeness, and more fear of abandonment. Trait anxiety was also controlled in the analyses, and except for fear of abandonment, it attenuated the differences between the groups such that they were no longer significantly different.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)108-116
Number of pages9
JournalBehavior modification
Volume22
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 26 1998
Externally publishedYes

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