Longitudinal pathways of sexual victimization, sexual self-esteem, and depression in women and men

  • Objective: This article presents a longitudinal analysis of the links between sexual assault victimization, depression, and sexual self-esteem by examining their cross-lagged paths among both men and women. Method: Male and female college students (N = 2,425) in Germany participated in the study that comprised 3 data waves in their first, second, and third year of university, separated by 12-month intervals. Sexual assault victimization was assessed at Time 1 (T1) since the age of 14 and at Time 2 (T2) and Time 3 (T3) for the last 12 months. Depression and sexual self-esteem were measured at each wave. Results: Random-intercept cross-lagged panel analyses, controlling for individual differences in depression and sexual self-esteem, showed that sexual assault at T1 predicted depression and lower sexual self-esteem at T2, and depression and lower self-esteem at T2 predicted sexual assault victimization at T3. In addition, significant paths were found from T1 depression to T2 sexual assault victimization and from T2 sexual assaultObjective: This article presents a longitudinal analysis of the links between sexual assault victimization, depression, and sexual self-esteem by examining their cross-lagged paths among both men and women. Method: Male and female college students (N = 2,425) in Germany participated in the study that comprised 3 data waves in their first, second, and third year of university, separated by 12-month intervals. Sexual assault victimization was assessed at Time 1 (T1) since the age of 14 and at Time 2 (T2) and Time 3 (T3) for the last 12 months. Depression and sexual self-esteem were measured at each wave. Results: Random-intercept cross-lagged panel analyses, controlling for individual differences in depression and sexual self-esteem, showed that sexual assault at T1 predicted depression and lower sexual self-esteem at T2, and depression and lower self-esteem at T2 predicted sexual assault victimization at T3. In addition, significant paths were found from T1 depression to T2 sexual assault victimization and from T2 sexual assault victimization to depression at T3. Sexual victimization at T1 was indirectly linked to sexual victimization at T3 via depression at T2. Both depression and sexual self-esteem at T1 were indirectly linked to sexual victimization at T3. The paths did not differ significantly between men and women. Conclusion: Sexual assault victimization was shown to be a risk factor for both depression as a general mental health indicator and lowered sexual self-esteem as a specific outcome in the domain of sexuality. Moreover, depression and sexual self-esteem increased the vulnerability for sexual assault victimization, which has implications for prevention and intervention efforts. This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers. This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author details:Barbara KrahéORCiDGND, Anja Berger
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1037/tra0000198
ISSN:1942-9681
ISSN:1942-969X
Pubmed ID:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=27669161
Title of parent work (English):Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy
Publisher:American Psychological Association
Place of publishing:Washington
Publication type:Article
Language:English
Date of first publication:2016/09/26
Publication year:2017
Release date:2022/06/23
Tag:Germany; depression; longitudinal study; sexual assault victimization; sexual self-esteem
Volume:9
Issue:2
Number of pages:9
First page:147
Last Page:155
Organizational units:Humanwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Strukturbereich Kognitionswissenschaften / Department Psychologie
DDC classification:1 Philosophie und Psychologie / 15 Psychologie / 150 Psychologie
Peer review:Referiert
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