Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Ph.D. in Counselor Education


Leadership and Counselor Education

First Advisor

Lori A. Wolff

Second Advisor

Marie Barnard

Third Advisor

Amanda Winburn

Relational Format



The purpose of this study was to assess for effects of rape that are specific to women attending college and for relationships between the effects of rape, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, previous trauma, complex trauma, and post-attack victim-perpetrator interaction to fill gaps in the literature around these issues. The survey was distributed to all female undergraduates at the main campus of a large, public university in the south (N ≈ 8,400). The sample consisted of 463 women (response rate = 5.5%). The majority of participants were between the ages of 18-22, Caucasian, lived off-campus, and with roommates. Participants received an e-mail sent from the registrar's office containing information about online, anonymous study, a request for participation, and a list of counseling and psychoeducational resources. The survey consisted of a demographic questionnaire, questions about their experiences with rape since attending college, the Sexual Assault Symptom Scale-II (SASS-II), PTSD Checklist for DSM-5 (PCL-5), Stressful Life Events Screening Questionnaire-Revised (SLESQ-R), a question on life changes since their rape, and questions on post-attack victim-perpetrator interaction. Sixteen percent reported being a victim of rape since attending college, and 84% of those women knew their perpetrator prior to the attack. Nearly half of those who were raped since attending college had been revictimized. Seventy-two percent of participants reported experiencing previous trauma, and 74.5% reported experiencing previous complex trauma. Of the women who were raped since attending college, 65.6% reported encountering their perpetrator since the attack, and 34.4% did not. In analyzing the data, the researcher found that being a victim of rape or acquaintance rape while attending college was a significant influence on whether a participant would meet the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder threshold for diagnosis on the PTSD Checklist for DSM-5. There was evidence of a significant relationship between being a victim of rape since attending college and having a history of complex trauma. There was also evidence that being a victim of rape since attending college and encountering one's perpetrator since the attack increased the participants' Posttraumatic Stress Disorder symptoms, and the chances they would engage in more lifestyle changes.

Included in

Psychology Commons



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