Title

Women's response to the threat of rape

Date of Award

2001

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

Advisor(s)

Bruce Carter

Keywords

Rape prevention, Self-sufficiency, Women, Threat of rape

Subject Categories

Arts and Humanities | Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Women's Studies

Abstract

Self-efficacy theory was utilized to evaluate prior victimization, perceived coping self-efficacy and perceived cognitive control self-efficacy in the prediction of women's anxiety response to the threat of rape and their choice of prevention behaviors. In theory, prior victimization, perceived coping self-efficacy and perceived cognitive control self-efficacy influence anxiety and the choice of behaviors. However, according to the self-efficacy perspective, the relationship between perceived self-efficacy and both anxiety and the choice of behaviors is moderated by prior experiences. Utilizing multiple regression procedures and tests of significance among independent regression coefficients, perceived coping self-efficacy, perceived cognitive control self-efficacy and prior victimization were examined to determine the relative significance and independent contribution of each predictor variable, as well as the moderating effects of prior victimization. It was found that perceived coping self-efficacy predicted anxiety and the choice of prevention behaviors, and that prior victimization moderated this relationship. That is, it was found that the negative and significant relationship between perceived coping self-efficacy and anxiety, and the positive and significant relationship between perceived coping self-efficacy and the choice of prevention behaviors held for women who reported a history of victimization, but not for women who reported no history of victimization. These findings were explained within the context of self-efficacy theory.

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