While many empirical works detail the experience of and effects from sexual victimization, the underlying mechanisms that promote a cycle of recurrent victimization are not well understood. The current study replicated a previous study examining the perceptions of the benefits, risks, and personal expected involvement regarding a variety of risk taking behaviors in a sample of 151 college women with and without histories of sexual abuse. The current study further introduced a behavioral task in effort to test the utility of a multi-method approach to risk assessment. T-test analyses revealed that individuals with a history of sexual abuse perceived lesser risk related to illicit drug use, and reported a greater intent to perform behaviors related to illicit drug use and risky sexual behaviors compared to those without a history of sexual abuse. Although there were not significant outcomes differentiating study conditions regarding the behavioral task, modifications to this task are discussed and continued consideration of a multi-method approach is encouraged. Additional implications for future research efforts are discussed.


Barry J. Ries

First Committee Member

Jeffrey A. Buchanan

Second Committee Member

Alexandra M. Panahon

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)




Social and Behavioral Sciences

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License



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