The Psychological Impact of Previous Victimization: Examining the “Abuse Defense” in a Sample of Harassment Litigants

Margaret E. Reed, Linda L. Collinsworth*, Angela K Lawson, Louise F. Fitzgerald

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

The present study examines the impact of previous sexual victimization on emotional distress in a sample of women (n = 492) involved in a sexual harassment class action lawsuit. Sexual harassment was found to predict symptoms of PTSD and general symptoms of anxiety, over and above the effects of previous victimization and other relevant personal variables; it also predicted depression and self-esteem, although previous victimization had a stronger impact on these variables than did sexual harassment. The effects of previous victimization and sexual harassment on emotional distress appeared to be independent and cumulative. The legal and clinical relevance of these findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)230-240
Number of pages11
JournalPsychological Injury and Law
Volume9
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016

Keywords

  • Posttraumatic stress disorder
  • Sexual harassment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Law

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The Psychological Impact of Previous Victimization: Examining the “Abuse Defense” in a Sample of Harassment Litigants'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this