Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy




Clinical Psychology

Committee Chair

Meghan McDevitt-Murphy

Committee Member

James Whelan

Committee Member

Frank Andrasik

Committee Member

Sara Bridges


Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and sexual difficulties may occur after trauma exposure. Researchers have noted factors (e.g., depression, relationship satisfaction) that are linked to PTSD and sexual functioning, but it is unclear how these variables are related. This paper explored an underlying class structure that differentiated subtypes of women based on trauma-related details, PTSD symptoms, sexual function disturbances, relationship status, and romantic relationship functioning. Groups were compared on depressive symptoms, substance use, and risky sexual behavior. Participants were adult undergraduate female trauma survivors (N = 280, 52% Caucasian) who completed self-report measures via an online survey. Latent variable mixture modeling generated four groups, and ANOVAs further explained group differences. "Healthy & Sexually Inactive" group members were single, sexually inactive, denied mental health symptoms, and reported low alcohol use and risky sexual behavior. "Healthy & Sexually Active" group members were in a relationship, were sexually active, did not report any difficulties, and had average alcohol use and risky sexual behavior. "Sexual Difficulties & PTSD" group members were in a relationship, reported mildlevels of all forms of sexual difficulties, reported mild PTSD and depressive symptoms, and had average alcohol use and risky sexual behavior. "Sexual Pain" group members were in a relationship and reported sexual pain and some depressive symptoms; they denied PTSD symptoms, and had average alcohol use and risky sexual behavior. Classes were not differentiated by trauma (nonsexual trauma in mid-teens), relationship satisfaction, or drug use. Results highlight the relations between PTSD, sexual functioning, and depression. Ideas for future research and clinical implications are discussed.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.