Psychology ETDs


Erica Nason

Publication Date



This study evaluated the effects of a sexual victimization history, psychopathology, and sexual attitudes on the effectiveness of womens responses to increasingly coercive sexual victimization risk and nonsexual social situation vignettes. One hundred undergraduate women listened to a description of each situation, viewed clips of a male actor making increasingly coercive verbal requests, and provided a videotaped, verbal response to each request given by the actor in each situation. Participants then completed measures assessing sexual victimization history, psychopathology, and sexual attitudes. Experts in the sexual violence research area and undergraduate men rated the effectiveness of participants' responses to the series of sexual victimization risk vignettes in decreasing risk for having an unwanted sexual experience. Participants' responses to the nonsexual social situation vignettes were rated by these same groups for their effectiveness at increasing the likelihood that the woman would succeed in achieving the social goal described in the vignette. Using the same instructions, participants also rated the effectiveness of their responses prior to and after viewing their responses. Results revealed that experts rated undergraduate women's responses to the sexual victimization risk vignettes as more effective than responses to the nonsexual social situation vignettes. Additionally, participants' responses were rated as more effective across both types of situations as the level of verbal coercion increased on the part of the male actor. Finally, undergraduate men rated women's responses to both the sexual victimization risk and the nonsexual social situation vignettes as less effective than experts or undergraduate women. Sexual victimization history, sexual attitudes, and psychopathology were not significantly related to participants' response effectiveness for either the sexual victimization risk or nonsexual social situation vignettes. Implications for sexual assault prevention interventions using behavioral rehearsal with feedback are discussed.

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Level of Degree


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First Advisor

Yeater, Elizabeth

First Committee Member (Chair)

Smith, Jane

Second Committee Member

Bryan, Angela

Third Committee Member

McCrady, Barbara




Sexual harassment--Prevention, Sexual harassment of women, Sexual harassment in universities and colleges, Sexual behavior surveys--United States, Adjustment (Psychology)--Testing.

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