Many researchers have documented that alcohol consumption and sexual assault co-occur, but detailed information is not available regarding the causal dynamics of this relationship. The goal of the proposed research is to reduce the incidence of sexual assault by explicating the relationship between alcohol consumption, misperception on sexual cues, and sexual assault. Computer-assisted self-interviews will be conducted with a representative sample of 800 African American and Caucasian women and women in the Detroit Metropolitan area who meet the study's criteria. By asking comparable questions of victims and perpetrators of sexual assault, gender differences in perceptions of alcohol's role in sexual assault can be examined. Based on their responses to the Sexual Experiences Survey, participants will be asked to describe the circumstances associated with either: a) an alcohol-involved and a no-alcohol involved sexual assault, b) a sexual assault and a similar social occasion which did not involve sexual assault, or c) a recent date. Specific hypothesis will be examined regarding similarities and differences between: a) alcohol and no-alcohol sexual assaults, b) sexual assaults and similar social occasions, c) women;s and men's perceptions of sexual assault, and d) African Americans' and Caucasians' sexual assault experiences. Measures of past misperception and dating experiences, rape supportive beliefs, social skills, alcohol expectancies, stereotypes about drinking women, usual alcohol consumption, and alcohol-related problems will be included. These variables will be used in structural equation modeling analyses to examine the model of alcohol's role in sexual assault developed by Abbey and her colleagues. Prospective data will also be collected from these same individuals two years later so that the model can also be treated longitudinally. The results of the proposed research will have direct implications for alcohol and sexual assault prevention and treatment services.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Research Project (R01)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG2 (01))
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Salaita, Kathy
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Wayne State University
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Schools of Medicine
United States
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Pegram, Sheri E; Abbey, Antonia (2016) Associations Between Sexual Assault Severity and Psychological and Physical Health Outcomes: Similarities and Differences Among African American and Caucasian Survivors. J Interpers Violence :886260516673626
Jacques-Tiura, Angela J; Tkatch, Rifky; Abbey, Antonia et al. (2010) Disclosure of sexual assault: characteristics and implications for posttraumatic stress symptoms among African American and caucasian survivors. J Trauma Dissociation 11:174-92
Parkhill, Michele R; Abbey, Antonia; Jacques-Tiura, Angela J (2009) How do sexual assault characteristics vary as a function of perpetrators' level of intoxication? Addict Behav 34:331-3
Abbey, Antonia; Parkhill, Michele R; Clinton-Sherrod, A Monique et al. (2007) A comparison of men who committed different types of sexual assault in a community sample. J Interpers Violence 22:1567-80
Zawacki, Tina; Norris, Jeanette; George, William H et al. (2005) Explicating alcohol's role in acquaintance sexual assault: complementary perspectives and convergent findings. Alcohol Clin Exp Res 29:263-9