It is widely known that sexual assault disproportionately affects women. College-aged women are the highest risk population of all ages, in fact. Sexual assault can occur at any age and may have a varying range of emotional consequences for survivors. This includes pathological coping mechanisms, such as disordered eating behaviors. This study examined the mediating effect of resilience on the relationship between sexual assault and disordered eating behavior in a sample of women who reported negative sexual experiences. A sample of 519 undergraduate women at Western Kentucky University completed a survey assessing sexual experiences, trauma symptoms, disordered eating behavior, and resilience. Results confirmed the hypothesis in that resilience fully mediated the relationship between trauma symptoms and disordered eating behavior (B = 0.008, p = 0.03). These results highlight the importance of resilience as a mitigating factor in recovery from sexual trauma. Further research on ways to foster resilience post-assault is in order.
Advisor(s) or Committee Chair
Dr. Amy Brausch, Dr. Diane Lickenbrock, Mrs. Siera Bramschreiber
Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Psychology
Fergerson, Ava, "Sexual Victimization, Trauma, & Resilience to Disordered Eating" (2018). Mahurin Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects. Paper 752.