The impact, role and psychometric measurement of self blame in the context of sexual trauma

Campbell, Bethany (2022). The impact, role and psychometric measurement of self blame in the context of sexual trauma. University of Birmingham. Foren.Psy.D.

Text - Accepted Version
Available under License All rights reserved.

Download (2MB) | Preview


This thesis explores the impact, role and psychometric measure of self-blame in the context of sexual trauma. This work aimed to consider the impact of self-blame on trauma outcomes and memory in particular. The first chapter introduces the concept of self-blame in relation to sexual trauma and highlights the aims of the thesis. The second chapter consists of a systematic literature review regarding the implications that self-blame has on various trauma outcomes. The findings from this review indicated that self-blame is associated with: an increase in PTSD symptoms; experiences of psychological distress; increased levels of depression; lower self-esteem; increased maladaptive coping and alcohol use; increased negative social reactions; factors relating to disclosure; and decreased perceived control.
The third chapter presents empirical research looking at the relationship between self-blame attributions and memory recall in a hypothetical rape scenario. The study also considered the roles of alcohol consumption and alcohol expectancy in relation to memory recall, and how memory of the event and self-blame attributions affect PTSD symptoms. Alcohol expectancy and higher levels of characterological self-blame (CSB) were associated with lower memory recall completeness. Traumatic impact was found to be positively related to self-blame. No relationship between memory recall and traumatic impact was observed. The research demonstrated that CSB may have an important and predictive role in relation to recall completeness following sexual trauma.
Given that most studies (including the empirical research outlined in Chapter 3) have tended to utilise the Rape Attribution Questionnaire (RAQ; Frazier, 2003) to assess rape attributions following rape, the fourth chapter provides a critique of this psychometric measure. Findings suggest that the RAQ demonstrates good psychometric properties, and appears to have empirical justification as a scale of choice for assessing rape attributions. The chapter highlights the strengths and limitations of the scale and proposes ideas to strengthen the reliability and validity of the measure.
In the final chapter, the overall findings from Chapters 2, 3 and 4 are discussed, with a consideration of future research direction and the practical implications.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Foren.Psy.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Foren.Psy.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
School or Department: School of Psychology
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology


Request a Correction Request a Correction
View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year