Honors College Theses

Publication Date



Psychology (B.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Nicolette Rickert


The current study analyzed the mediating role of mental health on academic performance among college women who have experienced sexual assault. The purpose of this research was to acknowledge the impacts that sexual assault experiences may have on the college experience. A total of 241 undergraduate students participated in the study. Participants were college aged, ranging from 18-36 (90.5% female, 59.2% White, 28.1% Black/African American). Participants completed an online survey that evaluated their sexual assault experience, depression, and academic performance. Using Baron and Kenny’s (1986) mediation model, it was found that as participants reported higher instances of sexual assault experience, they tended to report lower academic performance, and this relationship was mediated by increased depression symptoms. These findings contribute new information to the current literature and further stress the importance of preventing instances of sexual assault on college campuses and supporting victims due to psychological and academic consequences.