PTSD Symptoms and Sexual Harassment: The Role of Attributions and Perceived Control
AbstractResearchers have compiled significant evidence demonstrating that sexual harassment leads to psychological harm, including the full symptom picture of PTSD, but few have examined the psychological processes involved. Research on attributions among trauma victims would suggest that causal attributions and perceptions of control may be important predictors of outcomes. The authors discuss a study involving a path model that used data from 189 women involved in sexual harassment litigation. Results indicate that both self-blame and harasser blame were positively related to PTSD symptoms. Control over recovery and the perception that future harassment is unlikely were both related to fewer PTSD symptoms. Unexpectedly, perceived control over future harassment is related to higher levels of PTSD symptoms. Implications for research and practice are discussed.