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J Trauma Stress. 2015 Oct;28(5):484-8. doi: 10.1002/jts.22042. Epub 2015 Sep 24.

Blackout Drinking Predicts Sexual Revictimization in a College Sample of Binge-Drinking Women.

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Department of Psychology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA.
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA.


Sexual victimization is prevalent on U.S. college campuses. Some women experience multiple sexual victimizations with heightened risk among those with prior victimization histories. One risk factor for sexual revictimization is alcohol use. Most research has focused on associations between alcohol consumption and revictimization. The current study's objective was to understand potential mechanisms by which drinking confers risk for revictimization. We hypothesized that specific drinking consequences would predict risk for revictimization above and beyond the quantity of alcohol consumed. There were 162 binge-drinking female students (mean age = 20.21 years, 71.3% White, 36.9% juniors) from the University of Washington who were assessed for baseline victimization (categorized as childhood vs. adolescent victimization), quantity of alcohol consumed, and drinking consequences experienced, then assessed 30 days later for revictimization. There were 40 (24.6%) women who were revictimized in the following 30 days. Results showed that blackout drinking at baseline predicted incapacitated sexual revictimization among women previously victimized as adolescents, after accounting for quantity of alcohol consumed (OR = 1.79, 95% CI [1.07, 3.01]). Other drinking consequences were not strongly predictive of revictimization. Adolescent sexual victimization was an important predictor of sexual revictimization in college women; blackout drinking may confer unique risk for revictimization.

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