Date of Award

1-1-2009

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Anne P. DePrince

Keywords

Child Sexual Abuse, Psychophysiology, Revictimization, Risk Detection

Abstract

Research has focused on identifying mechanisms that increase revictimization risk in women, such as risk detection (i.e., ability to identify threat). While risk detection deficits have been linked to revictimization in college samples, individual differences that might predict risk detection deficiencies remain unclear. In this study, 94 women recruited from the community performed a risk detection task by listening to an audiotape of a risky dating situation. We obtained parasympathetic (e.g., vagal tone) and sympathetic (e.g., pre-ejection period) activation, heart rate, and self-reported emotional responding while participants completed the task. We also assessed participants' trauma histories and relevant symptoms. Results suggested that community women with less self-reported reactivity detect risk faster than women with more self-reported reactivity. Women who detected risk faster also displayed a discrepancy between sympathetic versus self-reported reactivity. For women who detected risk at a slow rate, an interaction between trauma and symptom levels significantly predicted risk detection latency. Implications of reactivity associated with risk detection abilities are discussed.

Provenance

Recieved from ProQuest

Rights holder

Ann Chu

File size

49 p.

File format

application/pdf

Language

en

Discipline

Clinical psychology

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