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The present longitudinal study examined relations between self-blame attributions and social reactions to disclosure in a community sample of adult sexual assault victims (N = 555). Cross-lagged panel analyses showed that neither characterological self-blame nor behavioral self-blame related to negative social reactions over the 1-year follow-up period. In contrast, characterological but not behavioral self-blame predicted fewer positive reactions over time. Although positive reactions did not reduce self-blame, negative reactions led to greater characterological, but not behavioral, self-blame during the course of the study. Thus, relations between self-blame and social reactions were not reciprocal but rather quite complex. The effects of victims’ coping strategies and sexual revictimization were also assessed. Implications for research, treatment, and intervention are discussed.
Ullman, S. E., & Najdowski, C. J. (2011). Prospective changes in attributions of self-blame and social reactions to women’s disclosures of adult sexual assault. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 26, 1934-1962. DOI: 10.1177/0886260510372940
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