Alcohol and sexual assault in a national sample of college women

Sarah E. Ullman, George Karabatsos, Mary P. Koss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

186 Scopus citations

Abstract

Alcohol is associated with risk of sexual assault among women and with increased risk of experiencing completed rape once attacked. In particular, alcohol use prior to sexual assault by both offenders and victims may affect the severity of sexual victimization experienced by women. Little research has explored the mechanisms (e.g., social context, behavior) through which alcohol may affect outcomes of sexual attacks using multivariate analysis. This study analyzed the role of alcohol in sexual assaults experienced by a national sample of female college students. A hierarchical multivariate regression showed that victim alcohol abuse propensity and both victim and offender alcohol use prior to attack were directly associated with more severe sexual victimization to women as measured by the Sexual Experiences Survey. This study suggests that alcohol use plays both direct and indirect roles in the outcomes of sexual assaults. Rape and alcohol abuse prevention efforts can benefit from incorporating information about alcohol's role in different assault contexts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)603-625
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of interpersonal violence
Volume14
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology

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