Date of Award

12-2017

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Major

Psychology

Major Professor

Gina P. Owens

Committee Members

Joseph Miles, Dawn M. Szymanski

Abstract

The present study investigated the associations between self-compassion, self-blame, disengagement coping, and PTSD and depression symptom severity in a volunteer sample of women (n = 207) who experienced one or more incidents of forced sexual contact in adulthood. The mean age of the participants was 27.07 (SD = 9.62), and the majority identified as Caucasian (85.5%). Participants completed a survey assessing trauma history, post-traumatic stress disorder symptom severity, depression symptom severity, disengagement coping, self-blame attributions, and self-compassion. The results from the hierarchical regression analyses showed that CSA history, characterological self-blame (CSB), behavioral self-blame (BSB), and disengagement coping significantly predicted PTSD symptom severity, and CSB and self-compassion significantly predicted depression symptom severity. Mediational analyses showed that the relationship between self-compassion and PTSD was fully mediated by disengagement coping, CSB, and BSB, and the relationship between self-compassion and depression was partially mediated by CSB. These findings have potential implications for the focus of treatment with survivors of adult sexual assault.

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