Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Marc Karver, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Kevin Thompson, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jennifer Bosson, Ph.D.


suicidal ideation, suicide attempt, isolation, thwarted belongingness, self-harm


The prevalence of sexual harassment among college women has been reported to range from 33% to 97% (Klein, Apple, & Khan, 2011; Yoon, Funk, & Kropf, 2010) across the lifespan. In any one year of college, the prevalence of sexual harassment reported by women ranges from 33% to 57% (Crown & Roberts, 2007; Huerta, Cortina, Pang, Torges, & Magley, 2006). The severity and frequency of sexual harassment has been found to be related to reports of psychological distress (Nielsen & Einarsen, 2012), feelings of shame (Yoon et al., 2010), anxiety and depression symptoms (Murdoch, Pryor, Polusny, & Gackstetter, 2007), and social isolation (Pershing, 2003). These consequences of sexual harassment are concerning given the association between depression, isolation, and suicidality (Boardman, Grimbaldeston, Handley, Jones, & Willmott, 1999; DeWall, Gilman, Sharif, Carboni, & Rice, 2012). While there are numerous studies documenting the negative consequences experienced by women who are sexually harassed, little is known about the relationship of sexual harassment to the more severe negative outcomes of suicidal ideation and self-harm behaviors and what variables might facilitate this hypothesized relationship. Thus, the purpose of this study is to explore whether the experience of sexual harassment is related to increased suicidality and if this hypothesized relationship is mediated or moderated by other factors such as an individual’s response style and/or degree of connection to or isolation from others.

Included in

Psychology Commons