Electronic Theses and Dissertations



Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Committee Chair

J Gayle Beck

Committee Member

Joshua Clapp

Committee Member

Tracy Hipp

Committee Member

Tara Galovski


Elevated symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder, impairment in sexual function, and decreased sexual satisfaction are common among female survivors of sexual violence. Although these symptoms frequently co-occur, little is known regarding whether patterns of symptom comorbidity exist across these conditions. The present study identified empirically-derived profiles of posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms and domains of sexual function and satisfaction among 348 college women who had experienced sexual violence. A four-profile solution was identified. The first profile, Resilient (RES), was characterized by low severity of PTSD and sexual functioning complaints. A second profile, Sexual Distress (SEXDISS), was characterized by greatest endorsement of sexual functioning concerns across domains and the second-lowest endorsement of PTSD severity. The third, Co-occurring Sexual and PTSD Distress (SEX+PTSD), endorsed moderate levels of PTSD and moderate levels of sexual functioning concerns. The fourth, PTSD Distress (PDISS), endorsed the most severe PTSD symptoms and the second lowest endorsement of sexual functioning concerns. Identified subgroups were compared to one another on Predisposing Factors, which included childhood physical, sexual, and emotional abuse, Event-level factors, which included assault severity, whether the assault constituted rape, and the victims relationship to the perpetrator; and Post-Assault Context, which included forms of social support, rape acknowledgment, and institutional betrayal. Results indicated that PDISS and SEX+PTSD were significantly more likely to have experienced childhood emotional abuse, were each more likely to have experienced rape, report greater assault severity, and to have experienced negative social reactions to assault disclosure relative to SEXDISS and RES. Relative to the other profiles, RES endorsed the lowest exposure to childhood emotional abuse, were less likely to have experienced rape, reported less severe assaults, and were less likely to experience forms of negative social reactions following disclosure of the assault. Results support that distinct profiles emerged from the sample, showing unique differences in their symptom profiles. Results are discussed in light of previous research and clinical and research implications.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest