A Person-Centered, Longitudinal Approach to Sexual Victimization

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jacquelyn W. White, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: Objective: Little research has drawn attention to distinct patterns of sexual victimization across time, although previous findings strongly indicate heterogeneity. Using longitudinal data, we tested a series of latent class growth models in an attempt to find meaningful patterns of sexual victimization frequency among female college students. Method: A sample of women (n = 1,580) answered questions at 5 time points concerning their childhood, adolescent, and collegiate sexual experiences. Latent class growth analysis was used with frequencies of sexual victimization at each of the 5 time points as indicators. Results: A 4-class model was selected on the basis of its fit to the data and its interpretability. The 4 classes are interpreted as low/none, moderate-increasing, decreasing, and high-increasing trajectories of sexual victimization. Negative childhood experiences—childhood sexual abuse, witnessing domestic violence, and parental physical punishment—partially explained latent trajectory membership. Conclusion: Possible implications of this research include the development of more specialized primary, secondary, and tertiary sexual assault prevention programs based on the victimization trajectories indicated by these analyses.

Additional Information

Psychology of Violence 1(1), 29-40
Language: English
Date: 2011
victimization, sexual aggression, person-centered analysis, longitudinal analyses, sexual assault prevention

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