Subjective distress and violence during rape: their effects on long-term fear.
A brief review of the literature on reactions to rape is presented, with special emphasis on the relationship between specific aspects of the rape and subsequent fear and anxiety. A model, which incorporates the effects of the victim's subjective experience of the assault, is proposed to explain inconsistent findings in previous research. To test this model, 41 adult women who were between 3 and 120 months postassault were asked to report information about the assault (assault violence) and their subjective experience of it during the assault (distress). Subjects also answered questions about several measures of fear and anxiety. Each of these measures was regressed on the assault violence and subjective distress variables. Three of the analyses yielded significant predictors. These were the avoidance subscale of the Impact of Event Scale, the phobic anxiety subscale of the SCL-90-R, and the Veronen-Kilpatrick Modified Fear Survey vulnerability subscale. In all three, subjective distress was the only predictor retained in the regression model. The relevance of these findings to understanding rape-induced fear and anxiety and improving treatment provided to its victims is discussed.
Girelli, SA; Resick, PA; Marhoefer-Dvorak, S; Hutter, CK
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