Discriminant Analysis of Risk Factors for Sexual Victimization Among a National Sample of College Women

Mary P. Koss, Thomas E. Dinero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

344 Scopus citations

Abstract

Examined the accuracy with which rape and lesser sexual assaults were predicted among a representative national sample of 2,723 college women. A total of 14 risk variables operationalized three vulnerability hypotheses: (a) vulnerability-creating traumatic experiences, (b) social-psychological vulnerability, and (c) vulnerability-enhancing situations. Each hypothesis was tested individually, and a composite model was developed via discriminant analysis. Only the traumatic experiences variables clearly improved over the base rates in identifying rape victims, but risk variables from each vulnerability hypothesis met criteria for inclusion in the composite model. A risk profile emerged that characterized only 10% of the women, but among them the risk of rape was twice the rate of women without the profile. The concept of traumatic sexualization was used to explain this finding. However, the vast majority of sexually victimized women (75-91%) could not be differentiated from nonvictims.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)242-250
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of consulting and clinical psychology
Volume57
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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