Psychology ETDs


Rosa Muñoz

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This study examined the relationships among ethnicity, childhood abuse, adult sexual victimization, negative outcomes of victimization, and factors that protect women against negative outcomes after experiencing these events. Three hundred and fifty four women (n = 354) from New Mexico completed an online survey asking them about their victimization history, ethnic identity, religious beliefs, and perceptions of their physical and mental health. Multiple regression analyses were used to examine the relationships among variables. Hispanic and non-Hispanic white women did not report differential negative outcomes subsequent to trauma history and did not employ differential coping strategies in response to such a history. Higher posttraumatic growth was shown to moderate the influence of adult/adolescent sexual victimization on negative outcomes for both Hispanic and non-Hispanic white women. Religiosity was not found to be a protective factor for either Hispanic or non-Hispanic women. Acculturation had a mixed influence among Hispanic women, with perceived discrimination predicting worsened outcomes and low mainstream comfort predicting improved outcomes, subsequent to trauma history. These results suggest that further research should address the role of posttraumatic growth in women of differing ethnicities and that acculturation may play a complicated role in moderating negative outcomes after victimization.

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First Advisor

Yeater, Elizabeth

First Committee Member (Chair)

Verney, Steven

Second Committee Member

Venner, Kamilla




sexual victimization, diversity, resiliency, acculturation, religiosity, posttraumatic growth

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