Perceived Control and Distress Following Sexual Assault: A Longitudinal Test of a New Model

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Abstract

Longitudinal data were collected from female sexual assault survivors (N = 171) at 4 points postassault. Consistent with the predictions of the temporal model (P. Frazier, M. Berman, & J. Steward, 2002), past, present, and future control were differentially related to posltrauma distress. Both personal past (behavioral self-blame) and vicarious past (rapist blame) control were associated with higher distress levels. In addition, the belief that future assaults are less likely was more strongly associated with lower distress levels than was future control. Present control (i.e., control over the recovery process) was most adaptive. Hierarchical linear modeling analyses revealed that changes in perceived control were associated with changes in distress after linear change in distress over time was accounted for.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1257-1269
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of personality and social psychology
Volume84
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2003

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