Interpersonal Factors in the Risk for Sexual Victimization and its Recurrence during Adolescence

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Being a victim of sexual aggression from a peer is a common experience among adolescents and poses a significant risk for various forms of psychopathology. Unfortunately, little is known concerning specific interpersonal factors that increase an adolescent's risk for experiencing sexual aggression. The current study assessed the contribution made by several interpersonal factors both for the first and repeated experience of becoming a victim of sexual aggression from a peer. Data were collected annually from a longitudinal sample of 200 adolescents over a period of 4 years and were analyzed using multiple-spell, discrete-time survival analysis. Approximately 46% of the adolescents reported experiencing some form of sexual aggression by the end of wave 4. Further, 65% of victims reported experiencing a repeat incident of aggression. Females were at higher risk both for initial and repeated victimization, as were adolescents with more sexual experience and higher levels of rejection sensitivity. Results are discussed in terms of implications for future prevention efforts.

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