Victim alcohol intoxication during a sexual assault: Relations with subsequent PTSD symptoms

Anna E. Jaffe, Anne L. Steel, David DiLillo, Lesa Hoffman, Kim L. Gratz, Terri L. Messman-Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


This study examines associations between women's alcohol intoxication at the time of sexual assault and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms. Drawing on the dual representation theory (Brewin, Gregory, Lipton, & Burgess, 2010), we hypothesized that intoxication at the time of assault would be positively associated with both overall symptoms of PTSD and PTSD reexperiencing symptoms in particular. A total of 143 community women (ages 18-26 years; 71.3% European American) reporting sexual victimization completed questionnaires assessing severity of coercion involved in the assault, perceived level of intoxication at the time of assault, and current PTSD symptoms. Overall, results suggested that greater alcohol intoxication (but not alcohol use alone) was associated with more severe PTSD symptoms when controlling for severity of coercion. Furthermore, higher levels of victim intoxication at the time of the assault were most predictive of reexperiencing symptoms relative to the other symptom clusters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)642-657
Number of pages16
JournalViolence and Victims
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2017


  • Peritraumatic
  • Posttraumatic stress
  • Risk factor
  • Sexual victimization
  • Substance use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Health(social science)
  • Law


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