Lifetime Sexual Victimization and Poor Risk Perception: Does Emotion Dysregulation Account for the Links?

Kate Walsh, David DiLillo, Terri L. Messman-Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

42 Scopus citations


The present study examined whether and which facets of emotion dysregulation serve an intervening role in the association between prior victimization and risk perception in an analogue sexual assault vignette. Participants were 714 university women who completed self-report measures of sexual victimization, emotion dysregulation, and a computer-administered written vignette of a college party scene that culminates in acquaintance rape. Approximately 42% of the sample reported lifetime sexual victimization during childhood, adolescence, or adulthood. Two individual aspects of emotion dysregulation, limited access to emotion regulation strategies and impulse control difficulties, mediated the association between lifetime victimization and leaving the scenario later. Findings suggest the importance of emotion dysregulation in predicting risk perception among victims and of improving victims' emotion regulation skills in revictimization risk reduction interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3054-3071
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
Issue number15
StatePublished - Oct 1 2012



  • emotion dysregulation
  • sexual abuse
  • sexual risk recognition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology

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