The Impact of Adolescent Sexual Victimization: Standardized Measures of Anxiety, Depression, and Behavioral Deviancy

By Gidycz, Christine A.; Koss, Mary P. | Violence and Victims, January 1, 1989 | Go to article overview

The Impact of Adolescent Sexual Victimization: Standardized Measures of Anxiety, Depression, and Behavioral Deviancy


Gidycz, Christine A., Koss, Mary P., Violence and Victims


Standardized measures of depression, anxiety, and behavioral deviancy were administered to a nonclinical sample of 67 high school girls (M age = 16.3; SD = 1.28). In addition, an adolescent version of the Sexual Experiences Survey was administered to assess the history of peer sexual victimization. In this sample, 55.0% of the girls had experienced at least one sexual victimization, including 7.5% of them who had experienced completed forcible rape. Data were analyzed via multivariate analysis of variance and multiple regression. Sexually victimized girls scored significantly higher than nonvictimized girls on the Trait Anxiety Index and the Beck Depression Inventory, but not on the Antisocial Index of the Jesness Inventory. The extent of victimization contributed significantly to the prediction of both the depression score and the anxiety score. The clinical significance of the reported symptoms is discussed. Although the study was not based on a probability sample, the prevalence of rape was consistent with existing literature. Because the sample was limited to girls who have remained involved in social systems, the measured symptoms probably are a conservative estimate of retrospectively measured postassault standardized test scores among sexually victimized adolescents.

Sexual assault, particularly by acquaintances, is thought to be greatly underrepresented in official statistics (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1984). Likewise, clinical service records may not give an accurate estimate of sexual assault prevalence because of evidence in some samples of victims that just a small minority (5%) sought crisis intervention services (Koss, 1985). Consequently, researchers are increasingly turning their attention to those victims who can be identified in nonclinical samples. For example, Ageton (1983) interviewed a probability sam ple of adolescent girls, aged 11 to 17, yearly for several years. The rate at which female teenagers reported a sexual assault by peers was 5 to 11% per year. Hall and Flannery (1984) conducted a random digit dial telephone survey of 508 adolescents. They reported that 12% of the girls had experienced "rape or sexual assault."

Although there has been considerable attention paid to the traumatic aftereffects of rape on adult victims, the impact of these assaults on adolescents has only begun to be described. The most comprehensive study was reported by Ageton (1983), who assessed the emotional reactions of adolescent victims 1 week and 1 year postassault. Although feelings of anger and guilt were present initially, these feelings did not remain 1 year later. At 1 year postassault, depression was predominate. In addition to an increase in negative feelings after an assault, behavioral disturbances were also noted to occur, including running away and alcohol abuse (Ageton, 1983). In another sample of victims attending school, 41% of them either stopped school or abruptly changed schools (Burgess & Holm-strom, 1976). Neither of these studies involved standardized psychological tests that could be compared to clinical norms, however, and only the former study included a matched comparison sample of nonvictimized girls. The present study was an extension of previous research and included the following salient features: (a) the use of behaviorally specific questions to screen for the presence of several degrees of sexual victimization; (b) the use of standardized psychological tests to assess anxiety, depression, and behavioral disruption; and (c) inclusion in the design of a comparison sample of nonvictimized girls.

METHODS

Subjects

Participants were 67 Ohio adolescent girls solicited from several groups and organizations, including two college preparation programs for high school students, a peer counseling program, and two health classes in a middle class suburban high school. Because the participants were minors, parental permission was obtained, and the final sample represented a consent rate of 25%. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Impact of Adolescent Sexual Victimization: Standardized Measures of Anxiety, Depression, and Behavioral Deviancy
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.