Term of Award

Spring 2015

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

C. Thresa Yancey

Committee Member 1

Nick Holtzman

Committee Member 2



Child sexual abuse (CSA) is a prevalent public health concern (APA, 2011; Finkelhor, Turner, Ormrod, & Hamby, 2010). Research shows that some individuals appear to report potentially manageable symptoms or will not develop psychopathology following CSA (Kendall-Tackett et al., 1993; Paloucci et al., 1993; Yancey et al., 2011). The purpose of the current research was to investigate characteristics available and amenable to change that may assist clinicians in treatment following CSA. Specifically, the present research examined how resiliency affects emotional distress indices, such as depression and anxiety, in adults with a history of CSA. It was hypothesized that resiliency would moderate the relationship between history of CSA and emotional distress indices. Participants include 253 undergraduate adults (70.5% women) enrolled at a medium-sized southeastern university. Participants completed a Trauma Questionnaire, CES-D, Burns Anxiety Inventory, and a Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale. As expected, results from hierarchical regressions indicate that resilience significantly moderates the relationship between history of CSA and depression and the relationship between history of CSA and anxiety. Results suggest that resilience might be another factor associated with outcomes following CSA and clinical interventions should focus on resilient factors. Future research should examine resilience across the lifespan.