Sexual victimization, generalized perception of control, and posttraumatic stress disorder symptom severity

Brett R. Bolstad, Richard E. Zinbarg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations

Abstract

We examined the relations among various characteristics of sexual victimization, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptom severity, and generalized perception of control. Our main focus lay in testing three predictions derived from the animal model of PTSD articulated by Foa, Zinbarg, and Olasov-Rothbaum (1992) based on the effects of uncontrollable and/or unpredictable aversive events. A sample of 117 female undergraduates participated and completed self-report measures of past experience with child sexual abuse, adult sexual victimization, PTSD symptom severity, and locus of control. The results showed that child sexual abuse experienced on multiple occasions was associated with diminished generalized perception of control and that diminished generalized perception of control is associated with greater PTSD symptom severity following adult sexual victimization when experienced on a single occasion or involving force. These results provide partial support for the uncontrollability/unpredictability model of PTSD. Further research is necessary, however, to firmly establish the direction of causality involved in these associations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)523-540
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Anxiety Disorders
Volume11
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Sexual victimization, generalized perception of control, and posttraumatic stress disorder symptom severity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this