Sexual violence among college women is a widespread and severe public health issue in the United States. When compared to women in the general public, collegiate women are at an increased risk of sexual violence. Sexual violence can result in damaging and long-term consequences for the victim. Consequences of sexual violence include physical injuries, psychological distress, social withdrawal, poor grades and participation in health risk behaviors. While a connection between sexual violence victimization and negative outcomes is well established, most of the research in this area is atheoretical. To address this gap in the literature this study relied on Robert Agnew's General Strain theory (GST), one of the most empirically validated theories of crime and deviance. The current research examines the relationship between strain (sexual violence victimization), negative affect (anger and depression), and deviant coping (prescription drug misuse). Methodology: The data for the current research are from the National College Health Assessment (NCHA), a national study of the health related behaviors of college students, which was organized by the American College Health Association (ACHA). Schools selected for inclusion in the study either surveyed their entire student population or randomly selected students for participation. The current research used data from multiple data collection periods (Fall 2008 to Spring 2011) and includes 379,584 respondents. Findings: Findings are supportive of General Strain Theory. College women who have been sexually violated are more likely to report both negative affect and prescription drug misuse. In addition, the relationship between sexual violence victimization and prescription drug misuse is partially mediated by negative affect with depression being the stronger mediator.
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Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Pomykacz, Corey, "Sexual Violence Victimization and Prescription Drug Misuse: An Analysis Using General Strain Theory" (2017). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 5553.