Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Date of Award

January 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name




First Advisor

Antonia Abbey


Although they share many similarities in their recovery outcomes, African American and Caucasian victims likely differ in their conceptualizations of and responses to sexual assault. However, few studies have examined post-assault health outcomes based on ethnicity. Using Neville and Heppner's (1999) culturally inclusive ecological model, this study contributes to this gap in the literature with a community sample of 221 sexual assault victims. Although the path model was generally similar for African American and Caucasian women, there were notable differences. Multi-group comparison analysis indicated that ethnicity moderated the relationship between assault severity and depressive symptoms, such that the relationship was stronger for African Americans. In addition, ethnicity moderated the relationship between PTSD symptoms and drinking problems. Whereas PTSD symptoms significantly predicted drinking problems among African Americans, this relationship was not significant for Caucasians. These findings highlight the importance of implementing culturally competent training programs for practitioners and community agencies.

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Psychology Commons