Rape and Mental Health Outcomes Among Women: Examining the Moderating Effects of “Healthy” Fear Levels

Ryan Spohn, Emily M. Wright, Johanna C. Peterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examined the mediating and moderating impact of fear of victimization on the relationships between forcible and vicarious rape on depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among college women. Forcible and vicarious rape positively affected PTSD and depression symptomology, but fear did not mediate these relationships. Fear moderated the impact of forcible rape on PTSD, but was not a moderator for depression. Findings suggest that there may be “healthy” levels of fear in the aftermath of victimization where having too little fear may leave women unnecessarily vulnerable to victimization, while having too much fear may lead to social isolation and withdrawal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1055-1075
Number of pages21
JournalViolence Against Women
Volume23
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2017

Keywords

  • fear
  • mental health
  • rape

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law

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