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Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms: A Mechanism in the Relationship Between Early Sexual Victimization and Incapacitated/Drug-or-Alcohol-Facilitated and Forcible Rape

Kate Walsh, David DiLillo, Alicia Klanecky, and Dennis McChargue

Journal of Interpersonal Violence

February 2013, vol. 28, no. 3, 558-576



Sexual assault occurring when the victim is unable to consent or resist due to the use or administration of alcohol or drugs (i.e., incapacitated/drug-or-alcohol facilitated rape; IR/DAFR) is a particularly prevalent form of victimization experienced by college women. By definition, substance use precedes IR/DAFR; however, few studies have examined other potential risk factors for IR/DAFR that may be unique from those associated with forcible rape (FR; i.e., sexual assault occurring due to threats or physical restraint). The present investigation tested a model of risk for IR/DAFR and FR suggesting that child or adolescent sexual abuse (CASA) leads to posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, which in turn increase the likelihood of IR/DAFR, but not FR. Results revealed full mediation for PTSD hyperarousal symptoms in the pathway between CASA and IR/DAFR, and partial mediation for hyperarousal symptoms in the pathway between CASA and FR. Theoretical and clinical implications are discussed.



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