Health and academic consequences of sexual victimisation experiences among students in a university setting

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The current study examines the association between multiple interpersonal violence victimisation types experienced in a university setting and the consequences for each type. Students at a mid-Atlantic university (n = 3977) completed a survey in 2015 assessing attitudes, experiences, consequences of (physical, behavioural, academic, mental), and university resources and reporting procedures for sexual assault, harassment and intimate partner violence. Effect on mental health was the most cited consequence for all victimisation types. Sexual harassment was reported by the largest number of students but with smaller percentages of students reporting consequences, while the opposite was true for sexual assault and multiple forms of abuse (smaller numbers experiencing; larger percentages reporting consequences). In the adjusted models, being in an abusive/controlling relationship and sexual harassment were significantly associated with physical health consequences (ps < .001). Sexual harassment was the only predictor of substance use (p < .001). Being an undergraduate and experiencing an abusive/controlling relationship, sexual harassment or assault were associated with sexual risk behaviour (all ps < .05). These findings point to a need for holistic approaches to helping students heal from interpersonal victimisation–approaches that include mental health services, attention to increased substance use and sexual risk, and monitoring academic performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPsychology and Sexuality
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018

Keywords

  • Interpersonal violence
  • mental health
  • sexual assault
  • sexual harassment
  • sexual risk behaviour

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Applied Psychology

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