Online Program

Lifetime victimization experiences among a sample of college men and women

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 10:50 a.m. - 11:10 a.m.

Melissa A. Sutherland, PhD, APRN-BC, William F. Connell School of Nursing, Boston College, Boston, MA
Purpose: Sexual violence is a major issue among the college aged population. Consequences of sexual violence include physical injuries and short and long-term mental health issues. Furthermore, past victimization is a risk factor for future victimization. The purpose of this analysis was to examine the lifetime victimization experiences and self-reported mental health of a sample of college men and women. Design: This is a secondary analysis of a study designed to examine the victimization and perpetration experiences among men and women attending three colleges. This analysis focuses on lifetime victimization and post traumatic stress disorder symptoms of the sample. Sample: College men and women (n = 1980) from three United States universities. Methods: Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval at participating universities was obtained. Data was collected via e-mail and by paper and pencil methods. SPSS 20 was used to analyze the data. Students answered questions about victimization (past and current) and post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms. Results: Almost 15% of the sample (n = 206) reported experiencing child sexual abuse and 30.3% reported an unwanted sexual experience during adolescence. Unwanted sexual experiences as an adolescent were associated with higher scores on all subscales of the Impact of Event Scale (Weiss, 2007). Conclusion: The pervasiveness of victimization experiences in this sample further stresses the need for early identification and best methods for assessment. Linkages to treatment and resources during college years may impact future health. College campuses and college health providers are in a unique position to identify and refer.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related nursing

Learning Objectives:
Describe the victimization experiences of this sample of college men and women. Identify the distress caused by traumatic events experienced by college men and women victims.

Keyword(s): Violence, College Students

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the principal investigator of a NIH grant (NRSA) as well as principal investigator or co-investigator of both internally and externally funded research grants focusing on the intersection of violence and sexual health. I have published widely in the area of women's health and the impact of violence on women's health.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.