Cognitive mediation of rape's mental, physical, and social health impact: Tests of four models in cross-sectional data

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126 Scopus citations

Abstract

Four nested, theoretically specified, increasingly complex models were tested representing cognitive mediation of rape's effects on mental, physical, and social health. Data were cross-sectional (N = 253 rape survivors). Outcomes were standardized assessments of social maladjustment, physical, and psychological symptoms, including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The best-fitting model was not fully cognitively mediated. Personological and rape characteristics influenced the level of self-blame experienced and the intensity of maladaptive beliefs about self and others. Self-blame and maladaptive beliefs predicted psychological distress, which strongly influenced all health outcomes. Self-ratings of rape memory characteristics contributed little to predicting postrape distress. The model accounted for 56% of the variance in general distress, including 91% of psychological symptom severity; 54% of PTSD symptoms; 65% of social maladjustment; and 17% of physical symptoms. Longitudinal replication is planned.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)926-941
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of consulting and clinical psychology
Volume70
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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