Revictimisation in a New Zealand student cohort: a prospective examination of posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms and dissociation as predictors. (2021)
Type of ContentTheses / Dissertations
Degree NameMaster of Science
PublisherUniversity of Canterbury
Victimisation in childhood increases the risk of victimisation in adulthood, a phenomenon termed revictimisation. Risk factors that increase a victim’s vulnerability to revictimisation are poorly understood. This study aimed to build on revictimisation research by examining the relationship between adverse childhood experiences, symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), dissociation, and revictimisation using a 16-month prospective design with four assessment points spaced four months apart. Participants were 248 female students enrolled at the University of Canterbury who were categorised into victimised and non- victimised groups using the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire-Short Form (CTQ-SF). Forty- one participants completed the entirety of the study and sixty-eight completed assessment points 1 and 4. These groups were used for different analyses. Participants were administered questions from the Stressful Life Events Screening Questionnaire- Revised (SLEQ-R), The Posttraumatic Checklist for the DSM-5 (PCL-5), and the Dissociative Experiences Scale-II (DES-II). Childhood maltreatment as a whole, including sexual, emotional, and physical abuse as well as physical and emotional neglect was significantly associated with both interpersonal revictimisation in adulthood (i.e., sexual- penetration and touch, physical assault, emotional assault, and assault with a weapon), and PTSD symptoms. PTSD symptoms and dissociation did not predict whether future revictimisation occurred but dissociation was a significant predictor of cumulative revictimisation experiences. The four distinct symptom clusters of PTSD: intrusions, avoidance, negative mood and cognitions, and hyperarousal, did not predict revictimisation. Findings suggest that maltreatment as a whole leads to greater PTSD symptoms and revictimisation, and dissociation is an important factor in the prediction of cumulative revictimisation.