The Use of Drinking and Sexual Assault Protective Behavioral Strategies: Associations With Sexual Victimization and Revictimization Among College Women

Elizabeth C. Neilson, Amanda K. Gilmore, Hanna T. Pinsky, Molly E. Shepard, Melissa A. Lewis, William H. George

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations


Despite consistent high rates of campus sexual assault, little research has examined effective strategies to decrease sexual assault victimization. Sexual assault and drinking protective behavioral strategies (PBS) may be important means of reducing sexual assault victimization risk on college campuses but need further examination. The current study examined the relationship among sexual assault in childhood, before college, and since college to evaluate the mitigating roles of both sexual assault PBS and drinking PBS on sexual assault victimization. Participants (n = 620) were undergraduate women, 18 to 20 years old. The current study was a cross-sectional online survey assessing participants’ sexual assault PBS and sexual assault history. Sexual assault history was positively associated with future sexual assault experiences. Pre-college sexual assault was associated with increased since-college sexual assault and increased drinks per week. Since-college adolescent/adult sexual assault was associated with less use of sexual assault PBS. These findings suggest that PBS may have an important role in sexual assault victimization and future research should examine their usefulness in risk reduction programs for college women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-158
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018



  • alcohol use
  • college women
  • protective behavioral strategies
  • sexual assault

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