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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 120788 Find in a Library
Title: Premarital Abuse: What Is the Effect on the Victim?
Journal: Journal of College Student Development  Volume:30  Issue:4  Dated:(July 1989)  Pages:339-344
Author(s): V Witt
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 6
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The prevalence of abuse in premarital relationships is documented, and this research explored depression and self-esteem as two possible outcomes or correlates of premarital abuse.
Abstract: Respondents were recruited from accounting, educational psychology, and anthropology classes, and 131 of 200 college students completed questionnaires (99 women and 32 men). Respondents were primarily white and between 18 and 22 years of age. It was hypothesized that victims of premarital abuse would differ from nonvictims on measures of depression and self-esteem. Depression was significantly higher for persons categorized as abused than for nonabused persons. Depression levels, however, did not fall into the clinically depressed range. Contrary to expectations, self-esteem was not adversely affected by abuse. A possible influence on respondents' self-reports was their belief about whether they were actually abused. Additional research is recommended to determine how much premarital abuse actually occurs, the "hidden victim" or the person who admits to the occurrence of abuse but does not acknowledge that he or she was abused, the effect of premarital abuse on victims, and reasons why persons remain in abusive premarital relationships. 16 references, 2 tables.
Main Term(s): Acquaintance rape; Psychological victimization effects
Index Term(s): Abused women; Self concept; Victim-offender relationships
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