Experiential avoidance and high-risk sexual behavior in survivors of child sexual abuse

Academic Article


  • While many long-term correlates of child sexual abuse (CSA) have been identified, theories to explain the development of these correlates have received little empirical validation. The process of experiential avoidance is one theory that has been proposed to account for many of the correlates of CSA. The purpose of the current study was twofold: (1) To attempt to develop a more complex measure of experiential avoidance in women with and without a CSA history, and (2) to explore variables related to two of the long-term correlates of CSA, general psychological distress and high risk sexual behavior. Levels of current distress, high-risk sex, and experiential avoidance were examined in 257 undergraduate females (mean age 20.0) using self-report questionnaires. The results of the current study indicate that CSA survivors report higher levels of experiential avoidance and high-risk sexual behavior with persons other than their primary partners. Implications of these findings for theory development, therapy with CSA survivors, and HIV prevention programs are discussed. © 2001 by The Haworth Press, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 25725373
  • Author List

  • Batten SV; Follette VM; Aban IB
  • Start Page

  • 101
  • End Page

  • 120
  • Volume

  • 10
  • Issue

  • 2