General and culturally specific factors influencing black and white rape survivors' self-esteem

Helen A. Neville, Euna Oh, Lisa B. Spanierman, Mary J. Heppner, Mary Clark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


Grounded in a culturally inclusive ecological model of sexual assault recovery framework, the influence of personal (e.g., prior victimization), rape context (e.g., degree of injury during last assault), and postrape response factors (e.g., general and cultural attributions, rape related coping) on self-esteem of Black and White college women, who were survivors of attempted and completed rape, were examined. As predicted, Black and White women identified similar general variables (e.g., general attributions) as important in the recovery process. Black women, however, identified a cultural factor (i.e., cultural attributions) as more important in influencing their reactions to the last rape compared to their White counterparts. Using path analysis, findings from this cross-sectional study indicated that severity of the last assault and prior victimization were related to lower self-esteem indirectly through avoidance coping strategies, and victim blame attributions for the latter. Results also suggested that the link between cultural attributions and self-esteem was explained through victim blame attributions, primarily for Black participants. The model accounted for 26% of variance in self-esteem.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-94
Number of pages12
JournalPsychology of Women Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • General Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'General and culturally specific factors influencing black and white rape survivors' self-esteem'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this