Is the Use of Protective Behavioral Strategies Associated With College Sexual Assault Victimization? A Prospective Examination

Amanda K. Gilmore, Jessica L. Maples-Keller, Hanna T. Pinsky, Molly E. Shepard, Melissa A. Lewis, William H. George

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


Sexual assault protective behavioral strategies (PBS) may be negatively associated with sexual assault victimization. However, no studies to date have prospectively examined whether the use of sexual assault PBS is negatively associated with subsequent sexual assault experiences. The current study examined the association between the use of sexual assault PBS and subsequent sexual assault victimization severity. College women who reported engaging in heavy episodic drinking (n = 77) were assessed online for their use of sexual assault PBS and history of sexual assault victimization. In addition, a 3-month follow-up survey was given assessing sexual assault victimization severity in the past 3 months. The use of sexual assault PBS was negatively associated with sexual assault severity in the 3-month follow-up period. Future research should further examine these PBS to create more college-specific PBS and to determine whether they are useful as risk-reduction strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2664-2681
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
Issue number17
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2018



  • college women
  • protective behavioral strategies
  • sexual assault

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