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Old Dominion University

Theses/Dissertations

2018

Psychology

Health research

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Sexual Violence Victimization, Mental Health, And University-Based Health Service Use Among College Females, Julie E. Stoner Jul 2018

Sexual Violence Victimization, Mental Health, And University-Based Health Service Use Among College Females, Julie E. Stoner

Health Services Research Dissertations

Females between the ages of 18 and 24 consistently experience higher rates of sexual violence compared to females in any other age group (Sinozich & Langton, 2014). Approximately one in five college women experience sexual violence victimization (SVV; Krebs, Lindquist, Berzofsky, Shook-Sa & Peterson, 2016) during the academic year. Among undergraduate female students, 23.1% are victims of sexual violence due to physical force, violence or incapacitation (Cantor et al., 2015). Sexual victimization has been associated with several short- and long-term psychological health consequences, accounting for enhanced symptoms of depression, anxiety, PTSD, and suicide risk (Basile, Smith, Breiding, Black & Mahendra, 2014). Compared with the general population, college women are consistently less likely to disclose an experience of sexual assault (Fisher, Cullen & Turner, 2000). Despite the high rates of sexual violence against college females, only 11% of rapes are reported to college authorities, making sexual victimization the most underreported violent crime among this population (Kilpatrick, Resnick, Ruggiero, Conoscenti & McCauley, 2007). College students are 13% less likely to report an incident of sexual assault to police versus nonstudents in the same age group (Sinozich & Langton, 2014) and one-third of female students never tell anyone about the victimization (Fisher et al., 2000)

The overarching purpose of this dissertation was to examine sexual violence victimization, mental health and health service utilization among college females using an emotion science framework. The first purpose of this dissertation was to perform a systematic review to examine the frequency of sexual victimization and the moderating characteristics of utilization of college-based health resources (Stoner & Cramer, 2017; Article I). The second purpose was to test a coping-mental health framework for the prevention of suicide among sexual minority and heterosexual victims of assault sexual assault victims (Article II). The third purpose was to examine rates of sexual victimization and health service utilization in a sample population, to examine how mental health symptoms impact health service use, and examine the rates of actual and willingness to use health services (Article III ...