Date of Award


Document Type

Doctoral Research Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



First Advisor

Victoria M. Follette

Second Advisor

Richard T. Elmore Jr.

Third Advisor

Heidi Hatfield Edwards

Fourth Advisor

Lisa A. Steelman


The present study evaluated the relationship between a history of sexual abuse and adult sexual satisfaction and functioning. This included examining psychological symptomology, revictimization, and the degree of sexual functioning and sexual satisfaction of women who reported childhood, adolescent, and/or adult sexual traumas. This study contributes to the limited research on the sexual functioning of women with childhood sexual trauma histories. Sexual satisfaction and sexual functioning were found to be related, yet separate areas in which women with sexual abuse histories may experience difficulties. There was evidence of an association between psychological distress and trauma history in that the presence of more severe depression, PTSD and experiential avoidance were all related to lower sexual satisfaction and functioning. Moreover, women who were revictimized reported higher rates of psychological symptoms and lower sexual satisfaction. Women with a history of CSA who were revictimized in adolescence and adulthood experienced more severe PTSD, depression, and experiential avoidance than women with only two incidents of sexual abuse, women with one incident of sexual abuse, and women with no sexual trauma history. Psychological symptomology was found to have the most significant effect on women’s sexual satisfaction. Future research should utilize clinical interviews to better understand the histories of women who have been sexually victimized, as well as evaluate sexual functioning in order to address the overall well-being of women with trauma histories. Clinical implications are discussed.