Academic outcomes following sexual assault: the function of post-traumatic stress

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Molstad, Taylor Dale
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Education
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Education
Sexual assault is a common experience among post-secondary students, with significant and long-lasting impacts such as the development of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and difficulties in academic performance. This study aimed to investigate the relationship between sexual assault, PTSD, and academic outcomes. In addition, social support was tested as a potential moderator in this relationship among post-secondary students. Post-secondary students in Alberta, Canada (N = 100) who had experienced sexual assault since the age of 18 completed a survey on non-consensual sexual experiences, PTSD symptoms, social support, and academic success. The study found that sexual assault was significantly associated with higher PTSD symptom severity, which, in turn, was linked to lower academic success. The hypothesis that social support would moderate the relationship between sexual assault, PTSD, and academic outcomes was not supported. These findings underscore the importance of addressing PTSD symptoms in post-secondary students who have experienced sexual assault to support their academic success.
sexual assault , post-traumatic stress , academic outcomes , social support , post-secondary , PTSD symptoms , Universities and colleges--Alberta , Rape in universities and colleges--Psychological aspects--Research--Alberta , Post-traumatic stress disorder , Academic achievement , School failure , Rape--Psychological aspects , Women college students--Crimes against--Alberta , Bisexual college students--Crimes against--Alberta , Gay college students--Crimes against--Alberta , Lesbian college students--Crimes against--Alberta , Male college students--Crimes against--Alberta , Transgender college students--Crimes against--Alberta , Transsexual college students--Crimes against--Alberta , Social networks--Therapeutic use--Research , Dissertations, Academic