Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Crystal L. Park, Ph.D., Dean Cruess, Ph.D., Tania Huedo-Medina, Ph.D.

Field of Study

Psychological Sciences


Master of Science

Open Access

Campus Access


Early life sexual victimization (SV) is consistently linked to negative psychological and physical health outcomes, but much remains to be learned about the potential cognitive mechanisms that drive these relationships. Few studies have examined strategies for coping with future daily stressors as predictors of differences in well-being following SV, with even fewer testing these effects within a multilevel framework. To better understand when and how individuals with a history of SV demonstrate significant differences in well-being, the present study examined problem-, meaning-, and avoidance-focused coping strategies as mediators of SV’s impact on daily mood and somatic symptoms and tested whether effects were moderated by the type of stressor with which individuals were coping. 106 undergraduate students completed initial online assessments of trauma history, followed by 11 nightly diary surveys assessing daily stressors, cognitive appraisals, coping, affect, and somatic symptoms. SV participants (n=25) reported greater average somatic symptoms than NSV peers (n=81), mediated by greater use of avoidance coping (ab= 0.66, p pp=.06) and somatic symptoms (ab= .19, p=.04) on these days, mediated by less use of avoidant coping strategies. On days when coping with interpersonal stressors, SV participants had marginal increases in somatic symptoms, mediated by relative increases in avoidant coping (ab= -.10, p= .08). Results suggest that negative sequelae of SV history may be more pronounced on days when individuals are coping with interpersonal stressors, with survivors demonstrating relative resilience in coping with academic stressors. Thus, clinicians may wish to consider the unique characteristics of daily stressors in individuals’ environments, in combination with their dispositional coping style and trauma histories, when implementing interventions to promote adaptive coping.

Major Advisor

Crystal L. Park, Ph.D.