History of Sexual Violence and Associated Negative Consequences: The Mediating Role of Body Image Dissatisfaction

Maryanne Jaconis, Stephen J. Boyd, Matt J. Gray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This article explores body image dissatisfaction (BID) as a potential mediating variable that may explain why those who have experienced sexual violence are more vulnerable to negative outcomes. It was hypothesized that women with a history of sexual violence would be more likely to report greater BID, which would be associated with experiencing increased psychological symptoms and distress, increased sexual risk behavior, and reduced sexual assertiveness. Structural equation models with bias-corrected bootstrapping were used to evaluate the conceptual model. Mediational analyses demonstrated that for women, experiences of sexual violence are significantly associated with greater BID, which, in turn, was predictive of increased depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as well as decreased sexual assertiveness. The implications of the current study are important, as they may inform clinical prevention and treatment of BID, support future research, and provide the opportunity to empower assault survivors by reducing the deleterious effects of sexual violence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)107-123
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Loss and Trauma
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 17 2020


  • Body image dissatisfaction
  • PTSD
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • sexual assertiveness
  • sexual risk behavior
  • sexual violence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Social Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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