Publication Date

Summer 2017

Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Frederick Grieve (Director), Elizabeth Jones, and Daniel McBride

Degree Program

Department of Psychology

Degree Type

Master of Arts


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of sexual abuse on body image of United States military service members and veterans. Participants completed an online questionnaire (n = 63) that measured their demographics, military status, sexual abuse experiences, combat experiences, relationships during deployment, and body image. Average scores on body image measures from participants who experienced sexual abuse (n = 10) were compared with average scores on body image measures from participants who did not experience sexual abuse (n = 49). Results indicate that there was not a significant difference in body image between service members who have and who have not experienced sexual abuse; however, results approached statistical significance for analyses evaluating whether service members lower in rank were at an increased risk for experiencing more sexual abuse than service members of higher rank. Implications include intervention that focuses on overall military body perception and treatment of alternative effects of sexual abuse. This research contributes to the literature as one of the first studies to assess the relationship between body image and sexual abuse in service members of the U.S. military.


Clinical Psychology | Counseling Psychology | Other Psychology | Psychology