Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)

Program

Psychology

Date of Award

5-2009

Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Stacey L. Williams

Committee Members

Jon R. Webb, Peggy J. Cantrell

Abstract

For women, sexual assault is a widespread problem with numerous psychological consequences, yet many victims do not seek support. The present study investigates this lack of support seeking in the context of stigma. It is hypothesized that sexual assault victims who perceive themselves as stigmatized (due to their status as a sexual assault victim) will be less likely to seek support than those who do not perceive themselves as stigmatized. It is also hypothesized that Christian fundamentalism will play a role in the stigmatization of sexual assault victims, with higher degrees of fundamentalism being associated with greater likelihood of self-perceptions of stigmatization among sexual assault victims. Results indicate that there is a relationship between perceived stigma and certain support sources (clergy, parents, and other relatives), but this relationship is positive. The hypothesized relationship between Christian fundamentalism and perceived stigma was partially supported.

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Copyright

Copyright by the authors.

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