Annotated Bibliography
In Unit 2, you were given some examples of published student research.  Pick one of those articles and write an annotation for the article.
You can find the articles again if you go to Course Documents, Then the Unit 2 folder. Next, scroll down to the entry for Undergraduate Research.Predicting Body Shame of College Women Based
on Sexual Victimization Recency and Frequency
Ava T. Carcirieri and Suzanne L. Osman*
Salisbury University
ABSTRACT. We examined body shame based on sexual victimization experience,
including its recency and frequency. Participants were 228 undergraduate
women from a midsize public university. They completed the Body Shame
subscale (BSS) of the Objectified Body Consciousness Scale (OBCS;
McKinley & Hyde; 1996) and the Sexual Experiences Survey (SES; Koss,
Gidycz, & Wisniewski, 1987). As predicted, women who experienced sexual
victimization within the past year had greater body shame than women who
experienced it earlier or not at all. However, unexpectedly, the latter two
groups did not differ on body shame, and victimization frequency was not
associated with body shame scores. Recent victimization experience may be
most salient in the mind of the victim. Furthermore, perhaps women with
recent victimization have not had time to overcome potential body-related
trauma, as compared to women with earlier victimization.
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ape and sexual victimization are prevalent
among college women (Fisher, Cullen, &
Turner, 2000; Harned, 2000; Koss, Gidycz,
& Wisniewski, 1987). Body-related disturbances,
including body shame, are also common in the
female student college population (Harned,
2000; McKinley, 1999; McKinley & Hyde, 1996;
Tylka & Sabik, 2010). For example, researchers
have found higher levels of body shame in female
undergraduates than in male undergraduates and
middle-aged mothers (McKinley, 1998, 1999).
Researchers conceptualize body shame as feeling
negatively about oneself when one’s body does not
conform to a set of internalized cultural standards
for the idealistic female body (McKinley & Hyde,
1996). Researchers have examined body shame in
the context of childhood sexual abuse, as well as its
link to adulthood abuse in noncollege populations
(Andrews, 1995, 1997; Andrews & Hunter, 1997;
Vidal & Petrak, 2007). Using female undergraduate
samples, other researchers have reported that
sexual victimization is associated with various
negative outcomes, including lowered self-esteem,
depression, and disordered eating (Harned, 2000;
Naville, Spanierman, Heppner, & Clark, 2004;
Sable, Danis, Mauzy & Gallagher, 2006). However,
the link between body shame and victimization has
been neglected in the undergraduate population.
Thus, the purpose of the current study was to
examine the relation between body shame and
sexual victimization, including the role of recency
and frequency in a sample of college women.
Researchers have suggested that negative
body-related feelings and self-evaluations may be a
risk factor for sexual victimization, given that one’s
body is violated if sexually victimized (Harned,
2000; Oppenheimer, Howells, Palmer, & Challoner,
1985; Schechter, Schwartz, & Greenfield, 1987).
The negative feelings regarding the victimization
experience may become associated with the body
in the mind of the victim. Thus, having these types
of experiences may bring more negative aspects of
the body into focus. If focused on negative body
self-evaluations, a woman may be at increased risk
for feeling body shame. Furthermore, factors that
increase the salience of the victimization experi­
ence in the mind of the victim may heighten level
of body shame, including recency and frequency.
The more recently a victimization experience has
occurred, the more salient it may be to the victim.
Likewise, the more times a woman is victimized,
the more strongly she may associate her body with
negative victimization-related feelings.
In support of the connection between
Copyright 2011 by Psi Chi, The International Honor Society in Psychology (Vol. 16, No. 4/ISSN 1089-4136)
*Faculty mentor
Carcirieri and Osman | Body Shame and Sexual Victimization
sexual victimization and body-related disturbances,
although Harned (2000) did not examine body
shame, she found that concerns about body shape
and eating disturbances among college women
were associated with many types of sexual victim­
ization, including gender harassment, unwanted
sexual attention, sexual coercion, attempted rape
and rape. Sexual abuse in childhood was also associ­
ated with greater body shame in community and
clinical samples (Andrews, 1995, 1997; Andrews &
Hunter, 1997). Inconsistent with these findings,
Andrews (1995) did not find a relation between
adulthood abuse and body shame in a sample of
London women aged from 32 to 56 years old who
were at high risk for developing clinical depres­
sion. Regardless, the samples used in Andrews’s
(1995, 1997) and Andrews and Hunter’s (1997)
studies may not generalize to the female college
population. Furthermore, abuse in Andrews’s
(1995) study was defined as sexual or physical, but
the majority of adulthood abuse reported in this
sample was physical rather than sexual (i.e., 11%
sexual; 33% physical). Thus, conclusions regarding
the relation between adulthood sexual abuse and
body shame could not be made clearly and need
further investigation.
Vidal and Petrak (2007) found that 75% of
their noncollege sample of women who were
sexually assaulted reported shame, including body
shame. Vidal and Petrak also reported greater
body shame scores in their sample compared to
Andrews, Qian, and Valentine’s (2002) sample of
London college women. However, Andrews et al.
did not measure sexual victimization experience
in their sample of undergraduates. Thus, without
knowing the victimization status of these college
women, the question of whether sexual victimiza­
tion after childhood is directly related to greater
body shame remains.
Although body shame was common among
Vidal and Petrak’s (2007) sample of sexually
assaulted women, there were other characteristics
of their sample that made it nongeneralizable to
the college student population. First, the women
ranged from 17 to 50 years old, with an average age
of 29.8, which is older than the traditional college
student. Second, the sample size was relatively small
(n = 25), and of the sample, even fewer women
(n = 17) had completed higher education. Lastly,
the majority of these women (n = 20) were a clinical
sample seeking therapy.
Other considerations from Vidal and Petrak’s
(2007) study include that the surveys were
completed in an uncontrolled environment. Also,
there was no clear timeframe for post assault. The
sexual abuse could have occurred weeks or decades
before the time of the study, at any point in life
from age 16 on. Thus, confounds from other life
events and memory biases may have existed. It may
therefore be important to have more defined and
recent timeframes. Lastly, many participants had
a history of previous sexual victimization, which
may exacerbate negative outcomes. For instance,
Naville et al. (2004) found that prior victimization
was associated with lower self-esteem. Thus, it may
be important to consider the number of times a
woman has experienced sexual victimization.
To build on the current literature, we
examined the relation between body shame and
sexual victimization experience in a sample of
college women because this group is at risk for
sexual assault but has been neglected in this area
of research. Given that victimization involves body
violation, researchers have postulated that negative
feelings resulting from these types of experiences
may be manifested as body-related concerns.
Thus, sexual victimization may be a risk factor for
body shame (Andrews, 1997; Oppenheimer et al.,
1985; Schechter et al., 1987). Furthermore, more
recent and frequent victimization may increase the
salience of these events and, thus, the risk for even
greater body shame. Therefore, our first hypothesis
for the current study was that female college
students with victimization experience, as indicated
by the Sexual Experiences Survey (SES; Koss et
al., 1987), would have higher body shame scores
than students with no victimization experience.
Our second hypothesis was that female college
students with recent victimization (in the past
year) experience, as indicated by the SES, would
have higher body shame than students victimized
earlier. Our third hypothesis predicted that,
for female college students with victimization
experience, more frequent sexual victimization, as
indicated by the SES, was expected to be associated
with greater body shame. Lastly, our fourth
hypothesis predicted that female college students
with both recent and more frequent victimization,
as indicated by the SES, would have the highest
body shame scores.
Participants were 228 undergraduate women from
a pool of volunteers enrolled in an introductory
psychology class at a midsize public university on
Copyright 2011 by Psi Chi, The International Honor Society in Psychology (Vol. 16, No. 4/ISSN 1089-4136)
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Body Shame and Sexual Victimization | Carcirieri and Osman
the east coast. Most women were 18–22 years old
(96%; age range 18–43). To restrict the sample
to traditional college-aged women, we dropped
students over the age of 22 (n = 9). Eighty-six per­
cent of the sample identified their race as White/
European, 9% African American, 2% Hispanic, and
2% Asian. Sixty-one percent of the sample identi­
fied themselves as freshman, 17% as sophomores,
5% as juniors, and 18% as seniors.
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Journal of
The Sexual Experiences Survey (SES; Koss et al.,
1987) consists of 10 yes-or-no questions that mea­
sure four types of sexual victimization experiences
(sexual contact, attempted rape, sexual coercion,
rape) designed to detect unacknowledged victims
(Koss & Oros, 1982). Sample items include, “Have
you given in to sexual intercourse when you didn’t
want to because you were overwhelmed by a man’s
continual arguments and pressure?,” “Have you
had a man attempt sexual intercourse when you
didn’t want to by using some degree of force (e.g.,
twisting your arm, holding you down, etc.) but
intercourse did not occur?,” and “Have you had
sexual intercourse when you didn’t want to because
a man gave you alcohol or drugs?” Following each
of the 10 questions, participants who answered
“yes” also circled the number of times (0 to 5 or
more) the experience occurred since age 14 and
within the past year. We considered students who
answered “yes” to any of the victimization questions
to have victimization experience and students
who answered “no” to all 10 questions to have no
sexual victimization experience. The SES is a valid
and reliable measure, with scores corresponding
to responses in interview format and Cronbach
alphas of .74 and .73 in college and community
samples of women. However, answering “yes” to
one victimization question does not necessarily
predict experience with any other item (Koss &
Gidycz, 1985). The Cronbach alpha for the SES in
the current study was .67.
To measure body shame, we administered the
Body Shame subscale (BSS) of the Objectified Body
Consciousness Scale (OBCS; McKinley & Hyde;
1996). This scale contains eight items including,
“I feel like I must be a bad person when I don’t
look as good as I could,” “I would be ashamed for
people to know what I really weigh,” “When I’m
not the size I think I should be, I feel ashamed,”
and “I feel ashamed of myself when I haven’t made
the effort to look my best.” Participants rated their
agreement with each item on a Likert-type scale
ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 7 (strongly agree).
We computed mean scores, which could range
from 1 to 7, with higher scores indicating greater
body shame. The overall mean score in the present
sample (M = 3.51) was similar to mean BSS scores in
other samples of college women (McKinley, 1999;
McKinley & Hyde, 1996). The Cronbach alpha for
the BSS in the current study was .84. McKinley and
Hyde (1996) reported Cronbach alphas of .75 and
.84 for two samples of undergraduate women and
.70 for a sample of middle-aged women. They also
found the expected positive relations between the
BSS and the endorsement of cultural body stan­
dards, as well as body surveillance, and negative
relation between the BSS and body esteem.
We received approval to conduct the current study
from an Institutional Review Board. We adminis­
tered surveys, including demographic questions,
the SES, and the BSS of the OBCS, in a classroom
setting and instructed participants to sit at least
every other seat apart from one another to aid in
privacy. Prior to the distribution of surveys, partici­
pants signed an informed consent form, and all
responses were completely anonymous.
We dropped one person from the analyses due
to missing data on the BSS. Also, one participant
reported victimization experience prior to the
age of 14 only and, thus, we dropped her from
the analyses to avoid confounds. We categorized
participants who indicated no victimization expe­
rience as the “never” group (n = 118). Almost
half the sample (n = 99) indicated victimization
experience (45 sexual contact, 12 attempted rape,
20 sexual coercion, and 22 rape). Of the women
with victimization experience, 65% indicated that
they had experienced victimization within the past
year; we categorized them as the “recent” group
(n = 64; based on participant ages, victimization
could have occurred between 17 to 22 years old).
We categorized all remaining participants with
victimization experience (35%) as the “earlier”
group (n = 35; indicated victimization experience
since age 14 and prior to the past year). For the
participants in the recent group, 23% indicated
one incident, 30% indicated two incidents, 13%
indicated three incidents, and the remaining 34%
indicated more than three (range 4–12) incidents
during the past year. For participants in the earlier
Copyright 2011 by Psi Chi, The International Honor Society in Psychology (Vol. 16, No. 4/ISSN 1089-4136)
Carcirieri and Osman | Body Shame and Sexual Victimization
group, 31% indicated one incident, 29% indicated
two incidents, 9% indicated three incidents, and
the remaining 31% indicated more than three
(range 4–15) incidents prior to the past year.
ANCOVA for Body Shame Scores
To test Hypotheses 1 and 2, we performed an
ANCOVA based on the three groups on the body
shame scores. Frequency, which we entered as a
covariate to control for its effect, was not significant,
F(1, 216) = 1.46, p = .23, partial n2 = .007. There was
a main effect for victimization experience, F(2, 214)
= 3.71, p = .026, partial n2 = .034. To examine the
hypotheses more specifically, we calculated a priori
pairwise comparisons using Dunn’s procedure to
control for total experimentwise error, resulting in
a .017 significance level requirement. The recent
group (M = 4.0, SD = 1.3) had greater body shame
scores than the never (M = 3.4, SD = 1.2, p = .003,
partial n2 = .05) and earlier (M = 3.2, SD = 1.0, p =
.003, partial n2 = .09) groups. However, there was
no significant difference between the never and
earlier groups.
Regression for Body Shame Scores
We used a multiple regression analysis, with body
shame as the criterion variable, to test Hypotheses
3 and 4 for all participants who indicated victimiza­
tion experience on the SES (n = 99). Victimization
as recent or earlier was dummy-coded and entered
into the model first. Frequency of victimization
was centered and entered into the model next as
a continuous variable, followed by the interaction
between these two variables. Pearson correlations
among the variables appear in Table 1. The total
proportion of variance accounted for by the full
model was R 2 = 10.2%, F(3, 95) = 3.6, p = .016. The
interaction term was not significant, β = .243, p =
.66. Thus, we examined the other two variables
without the interaction term in the model. There
was no main effect for frequency, β = .253, p = .27.
The main effect for recent/earlier was significant, β
= 5.69, p = .008, accounting for 8.8% of the variance.
We designed this study to measure the relation
between sexual victimization and body shame in a
sample of college women. Hypothesis 1 predicted
that female college students with victimization
experience would have higher body shame scores
than students without such experience, and partial
support was found. Unexpectedly, students victim­
ized prior to the past year (i.e., earlier group) did
not differ in body shame scores from students
who indicated no victimization experience (i.e.,
never group). However, as predicted, students
who reported victimization within the past year
(i.e., recent group) had greater body shame scores
than students in the never group. Consistent with
Hypothesis 2, students who reported victimization
within the past year had higher body shame scores
than students who reported earlier victimization.
Lastly, for students who indicated sexual victimiza­
tion experience, Hypothesis 3 predicted an asso­
ciation between frequency of sexual victimization
and body shame, and Hypothesis 4 predicted the
highest body shame scores for students with both
recent and frequent victimization. We did not find
support for Hypotheses 3 or 4.
These findings are inconsistent with Andrews’s
(1995) study, which found no link between adult­
hood victimization and body shame. However, the
abuse examined in Andrews’ (1995) study was
largely physical rather than sexual, the sample was
older on average and at high risk for developing
clinical depression, and Andrews used a different
measure of body shame. The BSS used in the
current study measures the shame an individual
feels about oneself based on how well one meets
idealized cultural standards of beauty. It is possible
that women who are older and/or at risk for clinical
depression experience less concern regarding pres­
sures to fit ideal body standards than traditional
undergraduate women. Nonetheless, given that
the youngest participants in the current sample
were 18 years old, reported victimization must
have occurred no earlier than 17 years old in the
recent group, which is consistent with age cutoffs
in previous research defining adulthood experi­
ence (Andrews, 1995; Vidal & Petrak, 2007). Thus,
inconsistent with Andrews (1995), these results
Pearson Correlations of Body Shame,
Recency/Earlier, Frequency, and Interaction Term
Note. BSS = Body Shame Scale; R/E = Recency/Earlier; FREQ = Frequency;
R/E x FREQ = Interaction term
p < .05. **p < .01. ***p < .001. Copyright 2011 by Psi Chi, The International Honor Society in Psychology (Vol. 16, No. 4/ISSN 1089-4136) WINTER 2011 Psi Chi Journal of Undergraduate Research 161 Body Shame and Sexual Victimization | Carcirieri and Osman WINTER 2011 Psi Chi Journal of Undergraduate Research 162 show at least one population in which adulthood abuse is linked to body shame. Although Andrews (1995) found a link between childhood victim­ ization and body shame, conclusions regarding childhood abuse from the current study cannot be made, given that the analyses included no one who reported victimization before the age of 14, including women in the earlier group. As for the contributions of the current study, results showed that recent sexual victimization experience was associated with greater body shame than earlier or no victimization in female college students. Sexual aggression of any kind may be interpreted as an intrusive violation of the body, making one more conscious of the body and at risk for negative body-related feelings and self-evalua­ tions, including body shame. However, more recent sexual victimization may be most salient so that its impact on body shame is greater. It is also possible that women who reported earlier victimization had more time than those in the recent group to cope with the body violation and overcome any related body shame or other negative self-evaluations. Also, given that sexual victimization is preva­ lent among college women and that they have been neglected in research examining body shame and sexual victimization, the current study fills an important gap in this literature. However, our sample also limits our findings from being generalized beyond the female college popula­ tion. The majority of participants in our sample were freshman. Freshman in the recent group (n = 38) may have been reporting on victimization experience that occurred in college or within the past year prior to the start of college, whereas freshman in the earlier group (n = 20) were likely reporting on experience that occurred prior to college. On the other hand, sophomores, juniors and seniors in the recent group (n = 26) were likely reporting victimization experience that had taken place since starting college, whereas those in the earlier group (n = 15) may have been reporting on victimization experience that occurred in college or prior to the start of college. Thus, although our sample contained college women, caution should be taken to consider that victimization experience during college may be different than victimization occurring prior to college. Future researchers could investigate this possibility and continue to examine the association between sexual abuse and body-related self-evaluations with different types of samples (i.e., college, noncollege, clinical), victims (i.e., adult, child, men), and sexual victimization definitions (i.e., recency, frequency, severity). Future researchers could also investigate how the recency of a sexual assault may impact treatment programs for victims suffering from body shame and other body-related problems. Finally, our results suggest that clinicians working with victim­ ized women may benefit from considering the recency of the victimization and understanding that body shame is a risk factor. References Andrews, B. (1995). Bodily shame as a mediator between abusive experiences and depression. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 104, 227–284. Andrews, B. (1997). Bodily shame in relation to abuse in childhood and bulimia: A preliminary investigation. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 36, 41–49. Andrews, B., & Hunter, E. (1997). Shame, early abuse, and course of depression in a clinical sample: Preliminary study. Cognition and Emotion, 11, 373–381. Andrews, B., Qian, M., & Valentine, J. D. (2002). Predicting depressive symptoms with a new measure of shame: The Experience of Shame Scale. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 41, 29–42. Fisher, B. S., Cullen, F. T., & Turner, M. G. (2000). The sexual victimization of college women. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs. Retrieved from pdffiles1/nij/182369.pdf Harned, M. S. (2000). Harassed bodies: An examination of the relationships among women’s experiences of sexual harassment, body image, and eating disturbances. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 24, 336–348. Koss, M. P., & Gidycz, C. A. (1985). Sexual Experiences Survey: Reliability and validity. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 53, 422–423. Koss, M. P., Gidycz, C. A., & Wisniewski, N. (1987). The scope of rape: Incidence and prevalence of sexual aggression and victimization in a national sample of higher education students. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 55, 162–170. Koss, M. P., & Oros, C. J. (1982). Sexual Experiences Survey: A research instrument investigating sexual aggression and victimization. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 50, 455–457. McKinley, N. M. (1998). Gender differences in undergraduates’ body esteem: The mediating effect of objectified body consciousness and actual/ideal weight discrepancy. Sex Roles, 39, 113–123. McKinley, N. M. (1999). Women and objectified body consciousness: Mothers’ and daughters’ body experience in cultural, developmental, and familial context. Developmental Psychology, 35, 760–769. McKinley, N. M., & Hyde, J. S. (1996). The Objectified Body Consciousness Scale: Development and validation. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 20, 181–215. Naville, H. A., Spanierman, L. B., Heppner, M. J., & Clark, M. (2004). General and culturally specific factors influencing Black and White rape survivors’ self-esteem. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 28, 83–94. Oppenheimer, R., Howells, K., Palmer, R. L., & Challoner, D. A. (1985). Adverse sexual experience in childhood and clinical eating disorders: A preliminary description. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 19, 357–361. Sable, M., Danis, F., Mauzy, D., & Gallagher, S. (2006). Barriers to reporting sexual assault for women and men: Perspectives of college students. Journal of American College Health, 55, 157–162. Schechter, J. O., Schwartz, H. P., & Greenfield, D. G. (1987). Sexual assault and anorexia nervosa. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 6, 313–316. Tylka, T. L., & Sabik, N. J. (2010). Integrating social comparison theory and self-esteem within objectification theory to predict women’s disordered eating. Sex Roles, 63, 18–31. Vidal, M. E., & Petrak, J. (2007). Shame and adult sexual assault: A study with a group of female survivors recruited from an east London populatioin. Sexual and Relationship Therapy, 22, 160–170. Copyright 2011 by Psi Chi, The International Honor Society in Psychology (Vol. 16, No. 4/ISSN 1089-4136) Copyright of Psi Chi Journal of Undergraduate Research is the property of Psi Chi Journal of Undergraduate Research and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. Purchase answer to see full attachment

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