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*Note* This scheduling program was not designed by folks who do a lot with APA Style and unfortunately it defaults to listing authors in alphabetical order. We cannot fix this for this online schedule, but the author orders are posted in the order submitted in the printed program available via pdf here.

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Poster [clear filter]
Friday, March 6
 

3:45pm

Bystander Behaviors and Attitudes in College Students Before and After Green Dot Bystander Intervention Training
Incidents of rape and sexual assault in the US have not significantly decreased in the past several decades, and rates of assault on college campuses are higher than national statistics. Research suggests that bystander intervention programs are a popular and effective means of reducing sexual assault. The current study was designed to expand upon the literature by evaluating changes in attitudes and behaviors toward bystander intervention and sexual assault before and after undergoing Green Dot bystander intervention training. Participants completed a pre-test to measure bystander attitudes and behaviors, bystander efficacy, and rape myth acceptance before taking part in a 6-hour bystander intervention training. Three weeks after the training, participants filled out a post-test that consisted of the same measures. Analyses revealed that participants had significantly increased positive attitudes toward bystander intervention, increased self-efficacy to intervene, and decreased rape myth acceptance. There was no significant difference in performed bystander behaviors as a result of the training. Implications for bystander intervention programs and future research are discussed.


Friday March 6, 2015 3:45pm - 4:45pm
Redwood

3:45pm

Healing trauma through ritual: The power of women-centered support groups in the transformation of wholeness and empowerment in abused women
Due to the overwhelming and shocking nature of trauma, the process of healing is often very difficult both psychologically and physically. Having endured the threat of an attacker, and unable to fight back or flee, many victims find themselves left in a freeze response whereby energy related to the stressful event is pent up, unable to be processed by the mind and body. Thus, the trauma continues to haunt the victimized individual, preventing the continuation of aliveness and healing. Research on female victimization indicates that women who have experienced trauma frequently maintain feelings of hopelessness and powerlessness as a result of the abuse. Healing rituals that are centered around images and values associated with female strength, such as guided meditation, public recognition of victimization, and chanting, are believed to instill a sense of empowerment while restructuring more positive definitions of self. Moreover, the identification with other women who have endured similar forms of abuse reduces the feelings of isolation that victims often experience. This is of significant importance in light of the fact that victimized women often carry feelings of guilt and responsibility related to the traumatic event. Thus, women are given the opportunity to relieve themselves of the burden of shame and secrecy, thereby opening themselves to the process of healing. Ritual has been known to be especially effective in decreasing fear, releasing anger, and increasing as sense of empowerment (Jacobs, 1989). This poster presentation will examine the benefits of ritual practice and highlight the increased need of women-centered support groups within communities as a therapeutic outlet for improving mental well-being for women who have survived abuse.


Friday March 6, 2015 3:45pm - 4:45pm
Redwood

3:45pm

Promoting Transcendence: An Ecological-Womanist Approach to Understanding Religiosity as a Protective Factor Against Adverse Mental Health Outcomes Among Ethnically Diverse Survivors of Sexual Victimization
Prevalence rates of sexual victimization fall between one-sixth to nearly one-quarter of women in the United States (Elliot, Mok, & Briere, 2004). Literature suggests that survivors of sexual victimization are subject to adverse mental health outcomes such as Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) (Bryant-Davis, Chung, & Tillman, 2009; Gladstone et al., 2004). There has been paucity within the literature related to understanding, holistically, the coping behaviors endorsed by diverse populations to achieve restoration. Observing coping behavior from a culturally based, ecological perspective helps conceptualize methods used by ethnically diverse women, allowing for the values expressed within specific ethnocultural groups to be examined (Wang & Heppner, 2011, Fontes, 1993). Womanist theory considers how spirituality can be used to foster reexamination, growth and wholeness (Walker, 1983). This study utilizes an ecological, womanist framework to examine the use of spirituality to promote thriving. Studies have demonstrated an interconnected relationship between religiousness and negative life events whereby religious belief can enhance an individual’s ability to cope with negative life events and negative life events can concurrently lead to enhanced religious faith (Pargament, 1990; Mcintosh, 1995). Furthermore, spiritual and religious beliefs have been shown to be particularly impactful for various ethnic groups, namely African Americans, impacting their understanding of several values including justice, salvation, and coping from oppression (Mattis, 2000). Recent studies have expanded the understanding of the use of religious coping amongst culturally diverse trauma survivors (Bryant-Davis, Ullman, Tsong & Gobin, 2011; Ahrens, Abeling, Ahmad, and Hinman (2010). Feminist clinicians and researchers can utilize an ecologically based, womanist frame to establish integrative treatment programs, which consider spiritual values in order to attend to the needs of diverse communities and promote restoration. Integration of spiritual norms within the treatment framework can enhance cultural congruence and function as a pathway toward transcendence.


Friday March 6, 2015 3:45pm - 4:45pm
Redwood

3:45pm

Resisting Hegemonic Femininity: heterosexuality, whiteness, and gender roles
Hegemonic masculinity has been conceptualized as being constructed at the intersections of race, class, and sexuality (Hurtado & Sinha, 2005) and intimately connected to heterosexuality and whiteness (Connell, 1995; Kimmel, 2003). Some social psychological research has provided empirical evidence to support the existence of this link (Herek, 1984, 1988; Pascoe, 2011). Hegemonic femininity and its relationship to hegemonic masculinity has received less attention (Schippers, 2007). Scholars have argued that hegemonic femininity functions in ways that support male dominance and complement hegemonic masculinity (Schippers, 2007). Because hegemonic femininity also occupies a unique position in relation to white supremacy, white women may engage in gender discourse in specific ways that can either subvert or reify existing social arrangements (Hurtado, 1996). The present study examines women’s attitudes towards hegemonic femininity. College students completed a 22-page questionnaire (n=174), consisting of the Attitudes Toward Lesbians and Gay Men scale (ATLG; Herek, 1984), the Traditional Family Ideology scale (TFI; Levinson & Huffman, 1955), and an abbreviated version of the Sex Role Egalitarianism Scale (SRES; King & King, 1990). A large proportion of the sample identified as white women (40%). In order to better understand the processes influencing women’s attitudes, a regression was used to examine the relationship between race, class, gender and hegemonic femininity. Amongst the women, positive attitudes towards homosexuality and negative attitudes towards traditional gender roles predicted egalitarian beliefs about sex-roles, even after controlling for race and social class. Together, gender, social class, race, the ATLG, and the TFI explained 55% of the variance for the SRES. The findings of this study can contribute to understanding forms of resistance as they emerge from the intersections of gender, race, and social class.

Speakers
RV

Rebecca Von Oepen

CSU Monterey Bay
MS

Mrinal Sinha

CSU Monterey Bay


Friday March 6, 2015 3:45pm - 4:45pm
Redwood

3:45pm

Restoring Survivors with Psychological Outcomes in Ethnically-Diverse Sexually Victimized Females
Recent literature suggests prevalence rates of sexual victimization falling between one-sixth to nearly one-quarter of women in the United States (Elliot, Mok, & Briere, 2004). Sexual victimization of women, across ethnic groups, has been frequently associated with various negative mental health outcomes including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression (Bryant-Davis, Chung, & Tillman, 2009; Gladstone et al., 2004). The current study offers the restoration process for sexually victimized females to occur through the utilization of mental health services. Equally important in the restoration process is addressing the communities that are often offered the least amount of resources to address the injustice of sexual victimization. Examining ethnically diverse females with sexual victimization histories provides a conceptual framework for establishing treatment as a component of restoration in its role as a protective factor against psychological outcomes. The current study used data from the National Comorbidity Survey-Replication (NCS-R) to explore the role of therapy as a protective factor against the development of psychological outcomes such as PTSD and depression (Kessler & Merikangas, 2004). The goal of this study was to test for ethnic group as a predictor of therapy use such that Caucasian women are more likely to utilize therapy than African American and Hispanic/Latina women and to determine whether mental health treatment plays a relationship in decreasing risk of sexual revictimization across all ethnic groups. The current study used ethnic groups including African American, Hispanic/Latina, and Caucasian females with histories of sexual revictimization from a sample of 5,692 participants. Regression analyses examined the relationship of ethnic groups on the utilization of mental health services leading to PTSD and depression in this sample. In addressing how ethnically diverse female survivors of sexual victimization are impacted by mental health outcomes, restoration may be provided to these females through the implementation of mental health services.


Friday March 6, 2015 3:45pm - 4:45pm
Redwood

3:45pm

Self-objectification and Social Functioning in Close Relationships: Body Shame as a Predictor of Social Intimacy and Loneliness
According to Fredrickson and Roberts (1997), an individual’s subjective experience of sexual objectification can lead to many consequences, such as body shame. Body shame is the negative feeling that results from comparing oneself to an internalized cultural ideal and not aligning with it (Fredrickson & Roberts, 1997). Studies have shown that women tend to experience body shame more often than men (Fredrickson, Roberts, Noll, Quinn, & Twenge, 1998), and it can lead to serious consequences such as disordered eating, depression, and sexual dysfunction (Tiggeman & Williams, 2012). The current study examined associations between women’s self-objectification (self-surveillance and body shame) and social functioning in close relationships. Previously, body shame has predicted fear of intimacy in romantic relationships (Cash, Theriault, & Annis, 2004). Expanding on this, we predicted that women higher in self-surveillance and body shame would experience more fear of emotional intimacy in a romantic context, less social intimacy in close relationships, and more overall feelings of loneliness. At a small private college in New England, students volunteered to participate in the study for course credit. The 99 female participants (majority White) took an online survey, completing the following measures: Miller Social Intimacy Scale (Miller & Lefcourt, 1982), Fear of Intimacy Scale (Descutner & Thelen, 1991), UCLA-8 Loneliness Scale (Hays & DiMatteo, 1987), Objectified Body Consciousness Scale (McKinley & Hyde, 1996), and demographic items including age and current relationship status. At the bivariate level, self-surveillance and body shame were correlated with social intimacy, and body shame was correlated with loneliness. However, neither shame nor self-surveillance related to fear of intimacy. In hierarchical regressions, body shame predicted social intimacy and loneliness after controlling for age, current relationship status, and self-surveillance. These findings suggest that intimacy and functioning in close relationships should be further examined within the objectification theory framework.


Friday March 6, 2015 3:45pm - 4:45pm
Redwood

3:45pm

The Enemy Among Us: The role of sexual assault and PTSD among female U.S. veterans.
The military has faced recent criticism for sexual assault among troops; however, more research is needed regarding prevalence and the contribution of sexual trauma to rates of PTSD among service members (Cooper, 2014; Turchik & Wilson, 2010). Furthermore, rates of PTSD and depression remain higher among women, although the causes of the are unclear . This study explored prevalence of sexual violence in the military as well as its contribution to the development of PTSD and depression. Our Midwestern sample was predominately African American (80%) service women. Using the Life Events Checklist (Blake et al., 1995), the PTSD Checklist (Weathers, 1991), and the Clinician Administered PTSD Scale (Blake et al., 1995), and physician-determined depression, we assessed traumatic life events, current PTSD, PTSD symptom severity, and depression. On average, participants experienced 7 traumatic events. The most common traumatic incident reported was physical assault (80%), followed by traffic accident (71%), sexual assault (57%), and unexpected death of loved one (57%). A linear regression with the 4 most common traumas and combat found that traumatic life events significantly predicted PTSD symptom severity, adj. r2 = .60, f(5) = 11.148, p < .001, with sexual assault (b = .77, p < .001) as the only significant predictor; combat exposure was not significant (b = .17). Similarly, logistic regression found that sexual assault (B = 3.15, p = .01) was the only significant predictor of depression; combat exposure was not significant (B = .36). Although combat exposure is often believed to be the primary trigger for PTSD following military service, our findings point to sexual assault as an equal or greater risk factor. This supports the hypothesis that women more commonly suffer from PTSD and depression due to higher rates of sexual assault (Breslau et al., 1991). Implications and recommendations, including intervention and prevention measures, will be discussed.

Speakers
EL

Eric Larson

Northwestern University- Rehabiliation Institute of Chicago
CS

Christy Starr

University of California


Friday March 6, 2015 3:45pm - 4:45pm
Redwood

3:45pm

The perception of aggression in women across ethnic groups
The proposed study examines the difference in the actual versus the perceived level of aggression in women of color. The principles of social cognition have provided a valuable tool in the study of the perception and the interpretation of aggression. It is sometimes said that we see what we expect to see. It is the experiences and events we least expect that stand out most in our perception of the world and in our memory. However in ambiguous situations, and when we have little information, we are likely to interpret events in a manner that is consistent with our expectations or schemas. Once a schema has been activated, people are likely to look for, notice, and recall anything in their experience that is clearly consistent with that schema. So, what is the overall effect of these cognitive processes? Well, our expectations sometimes lead us to see what we expect to see even when it is not there. These expectations could nonetheless lead to inaccuracies in people’s perception of specific individuals and incidents. This study investigates how the racial/ethnic identity of the aggressor, and observer influences the perception and evaluation of aggression. A quasi experimental design examines whether assertive behavior in women triggers stereotypes of aggression, passivity, or assertiveness. Deception will be used to conceal the true nature of the study in order to account for race related biases. Participants, women and men over the age of 18, will be randomly assigned to 1 of 4 treatment groups containing video vignettes that demonstrate an ambiguous assertive act performed by a woman. The aggressor-target race combinations and the assertive act will be varied. Hypotheses were formulated concerning how people would respond to an aggressive act in a vignette, depending on the racial/ ethnic identity of the aggressor, target, and participant. Several predictions are made concerning the level of aggression participants would report. It is predicted that because of the impact of racial/ethnic stereotypes, more aggression would be reported when a vignette described an aggressive act by a Black woman than the same act performed by a White woman. Additional hypotheses concern whether racial stereotypes, lead people to see a greater level of aggression in an ambiguous act by a Black woman. Finally, a third group of hypotheses involve whether there are in- group, out-group differences in the perception of assertiveness and what is “defined” as acceptable norms. The findings of this study would have implications for minimizing diagnostic labels due to cultural differences in what I am hypothesizing to be socially acceptable assertive behavior. This study would highlight the impact that stereotypes have on Black women as it relates to assertiveness and/or the perception of maladaptive aggression. By understanding the cultural differences in the expression of assertiveness in Black women and other women of color, I hope to demonstrate a discrepancy between actual vs. perceived level of aggression that influences the increasing number of racialized violence that occurs towards the black and brown communities.


Friday March 6, 2015 3:45pm - 4:45pm
Redwood

3:45pm

The Role of Gendered Dating Scripts on Beliefs about Love, Romance, and Monogamy
Stereotypes—and research suggests that men dislike monogamy and, instead, prefer casual relationships (Bradshaw, Kahn, & Saville, 2010; Schmitt, Shackelford, & Buss, 2001). Yet, men and women view long-term monogamous relationships as optimal partnerships (Moors, Matsick, Ziegler, Rubin, & Conley, 2013). Given the complexity of these findings, it is possible that men’s disinterest in long-term relationships contextually varies. The present studies investigate social-cultural explanations, specifically, gendered dating scripts, for men’s preference for casual over long-term relationships. In Study 1, I examined the extent to which men and women view various artifacts and symbols related to long-term relationships as defining of gendered dating scripts. In two experimental studies, I examined the effects of gendered dating scripts on people’s beliefs about love and monogamy. Participants responded to monogamy-related items on Valentine’s Day or April 10th (Study 2) and after viewing engagement or landscape photographs (Study 3). When gendered dating scripts were salient, men reported lower endorsement of the committed relationship ideology, monogamy beliefs, and romanticism as compared to men and women in the control conditions and women in the high salience condition. Women’s attitudes were unaffected by gendered dating script salience. Taken together, men do like monogamy, but not the gendered scripts associated with it.


Friday March 6, 2015 3:45pm - 4:45pm
Redwood

3:45pm

Victim Blaming: Minimization of Unwanted Sexual Experiences Among College Students
Rape is often depicted by the media and within American culture as an event of dominant physical force by a male stranger over a female victim (Gavey, 2005), and is the primary social representation of sexual assault (Basile, 1999). However, rape does not always take on that form, nor is it the primary form of sexual assault. Given the dominant representation of rape, if a person experiences unwanted sexual experiences that do not fit the above conditions, he or she may not acknowledge it as a sexual assault (Cleere & Lynn, 2013), and others may place blame on the victim for the experience. Both of these consequences have negative implications for the psychological well-being of the victim. This study examined certain facets of the aftermath of unwanted sexual experiences. It explored the impact on victim blaming and victim distress of the type of relationship between the victim and perpetrator (i.e., friend, family member, partner, etc.), the potential differential impact of who is doing the blaming of the victim (e.g., friend, family member, etc.), and the assessment of potential differences among these processes for male versus female victims. This study also measured the impact of beliefs and attitudes about rape, and attachment to important others, as potential moderators of psychological well-being following unwanted sexual experiences. College students from a Northern California University completed the Adult Attachment Scale, Rape Attitudes and Beliefs Scale , Sexual Experience Scale, Depression Anxiety Stress Scale, and Positive and Negative Affect schedule. The implications of the type of unwanted sexual experience, victim blaming, and negative psychological consequences are discussed in the context of interventions designed to highlight the multifaceted forms and negative effects of sexual assault, and to improve the low rates of reporting by victims of unwanted sexual experiences. . Keyword(s): victim blaming; unwanted sexual experience; rape myths


Friday March 6, 2015 3:45pm - 4:45pm
Redwood