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Friday, March 6 • 10:45am - 12:00pm
Child Sexual Victimization as a Predictor of Sexual Assertiveness and Relationship Quality among At-Risk Females

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A growing body of literature suggests that child sexual victimization can be detrimental to women’s sexual health and well-being(Lemieux et al., 2008). Previous research has shown that women with a history of child sexual victimization are at higher risk for engaging in risky sexual behavior and may suffer from mental and emotional disorders (Hillis et al., 2001, Gookind et al., 2006). Women who have been sexually victimized may exhibit low sexual assertiveness or experience difficulties in intimate relationships (Livingston et al., 2007). Although studies have examined the impact child sexual victimization has on sexual assertiveness and quality of intimate relationships, few studies have examined the underlying mechanisms of this relationship. Furthermore, limited literature has investigated these factors among adolescent females involved in social service settings, who are an underserved population (Brady & Caraway, 2002). The purpose of this study is to investigate whether child sexual victimization predicts sexual assertiveness and relationship quality. Additionally, the current study seeks to examine whether PTSD and Depression mediate this relationship. Participants will consist of 130 adolescent females between 13-18 years old, from three different types of social service settings (community mental health agencies, juvenile justice programs, and residential agencies). The racial/ethnic composition is 33.6% White, 25.8% Black, 25.8% Hispanic, and 15% other. The predictor and outcome variables will be assessed using the Child Sexual Victimization Scale, Sexual Assertiveness Scale, (Morokoff et al., 1997), and Relationship Quality measure (Borneskog et al., 2012). Mental health symptoms will be measured using the PTSD Screen (Lang & Stein, 2005) and the Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression Scale (Melchoir et al., 1993). Hierarchical regression analyses will be conducted in order to determine whether child sexual victimization predicts sexual assertiveness and relationship quality and if mental health symptoms mediate this relationship. Results and implications will be further discussed.

Friday March 6, 2015 10:45am - 12:00pm PST