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.
- Posttraumatic stress disorder
- Sexual harassment
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health