Faculty Publications


Model of Vulnerability for Adult Sexual Victimization: The Impact of Attachment, Child Maltreatment, and Scarred Sexuality

SelectedWorks Author Profiles:

Joan A Reid

Document Type


Publication Date

January 2009


Extending previous research, this study utilized structural equation modeling to examine the effects of poor mother/child attachment, child neglect, juvenile sexual victimization (JSV), and Finkelhor and Browne's (1985) proposed construct of traumatic sexualization on vulnerability to adult sexual victimization. The proposed model was assessed using data drawn from a sample of African American females involved in a prospective study of child sexual abuse survivors. This group was matched to similar others without such history. Findings suggest that child neglect worsens with poor mother/child attachment, resulting in a greater likelihood of JSV. Both neglect and JSV impact shaming sexual beliefs and behaviors, contributing to the risk for adult sexual victimization. This set of variables accounted for 27% of variance in adult sexual victimization.