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NCJ Number: 151834 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Somatic Symptoms, Social Support, and Treatment Seeking Among Sexual Assault Victims
Journal: Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology  Volume:62  Issue:2  Dated:(1994)  Pages:333-340
Author(s): R Kimerling; K S Calhoun
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 8
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Mental Health
Bethesda, MD 20852
Grant Number: MH29750
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined patterns of both physical and psychological effects of sexual victimization and the role of social support, using a prospective design and a matched comparison group of nonvictims.
Abstract: The victim group included 115 women, between the ages of 15 and 71, who were treated at an Atlanta rape crisis center. The control group included 87 women who were asked to participate in an investigation of life stresses. The results showed that the victims of sexual assault reported more somatic complaints, poorer perceptions of physical health, greater psychological problems, and increased use of medical services. However, the victims did not use mental health services any more than members of the control group, but continued to see, medical attention even a year after the assault, when health perceptions and somatic complaints were no longer elevated. Two possible explanations for the increased rates of medical service utilization and somatic symptoms among victims are the interpretation of psychological distress as symptoms of a physical illness or a negative effect of psychological stress on the immune system. 1 figure, 2 tables, and 51 references
Main Term(s): Victims of Crime
Index Term(s): Sexual assault; Sexual assault trauma
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