Skip to main content

Advertisement

Log in

Sexual Violence and Psychological Distress: The Roles of Coping Self-Efficacy, Self-Blame, Shame, Activism, and Feminism

  • Original Article
  • Published:
Sex Roles Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Abstract

In the current study, we investigated potential direct and indirect effects of exposure to sexual violence on posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptom severity and depression, and anti-sexual activism and feminist identification as moderators of these effects, among a sample of 440 United States women who had experienced sexual assault in adulthood. We found that sexual violence exposure was both directly and indirectly related to PTSD symptom severity via less trauma coping self-efficacy, greater behavioral and characterological self-blame, and more shame. Sexual violence exposure was also indirectly related to depression via the same explanatory variables, except for behavioral self-blame. Contrary to our hypotheses, results indicated that involvement in anti-sexual activism and feminist identification did not buffer the direct and indirect links between exposure to sexual violence and PTSD symptom severity and depression. However, we found that involvement in anti-sexual assault activism was associated with greater coping self-efficacy and higher depression, and feminist identification was associated with less self-blame and shame. Results from this study may inform clinical interventions for survivors of sexual violence and improve overall care for this population.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3

Similar content being viewed by others

Availability of Data and Material

The data and materials can be obtained by emailing the first author.

References

Download references

Funding

The authors received no financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Charlotte Strauss Swanson.

Ethics declarations

Ethics Approval

The research involved human participants and included an informed consent that was approved by our university’s Institutional Review Board.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Springer Nature or its licensor holds exclusive rights to this article under a publishing agreement with the author(s) or other rightsholder(s); author self-archiving of the accepted manuscript version of this article is solely governed by the terms of such publishing agreement and applicable law.

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Strauss Swanson, C., Szymanski, D.M. Sexual Violence and Psychological Distress: The Roles of Coping Self-Efficacy, Self-Blame, Shame, Activism, and Feminism. Sex Roles 87, 419–434 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11199-022-01314-0

Download citation

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11199-022-01314-0

Keywords

Navigation