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Laboratory for the Study and Prevention of Sexual Assault

Director: Christine A. Gidycz

About the Laboratory for the Study and Prevention of Sexual Assault

There are two primary missions for the Laboratory for the Study and Prevention of Sexual Assault.

  1. To conduct empirically-sound psychological research on topics that address the problem of violence in our society. Investigations focus on correlates and predictors of sexual violence and the evaluations of programming efforts to reduce sexual violence. Additional research is focused on women’s experiences in violent relationships and the impact of childhood trauma on adulthood functioning. Please see the full list of our current projects below for more information.
  2. To provide graduate and undergraduate students with high-quality training in the use of scientific methodology, particularly in the study of violence.

Current Projects

Sexual Assault-Specific Bystander Behavior: A Prospective Analysis of the Effects of Individual, Social Norms, and Situational Variables (Murphy, Dissertation)

The primary purpose of this study is to develop a measure of college students' opportunity for intervening in situations characterized by sexual assault risk. Additionally, the relationship between individual level, situational and social norms related variables will be examined.

Affective Modulation of Nociception in Interpersonal Violence Survivors (Tansill, Dissertation)

The purpose of the current study is to assess subjective pain ratings, Nociceptive Flexion Reflex thresholds, and affective modulation of noxious stimuli in female interpersonal violence survivors and non-survivors in order to identify patterns of pain processing.

College Students Perceptions of Dating Violence (Dardis & Kelley; Edwards at University of New Hampshire)

The purpose of this study is to assess what college students view as dating abuse, and how these perceptions related to variables such as participants’ own abuse histories, attitudes towards dating abuse, and social reactions to friend’s disclosure of abuse.

Daily Diary Study of Intimate Partner Violence (Dardis, Kelley, & Gidycz; Edwards at University of New Hampshire)

The goal of this study is to examine the temporal sequence of both behavior and motives within recent intimate partner conflict situations among both men and women using a daily diary methodology.

Relationship between Sexual Assault Acknowledgement and Social Reactions to Disclosure: A Prospective Analysis (Kelley & Dardis)

The purpose of this study is to examine variables of social support and social reactions given by informal and formal support providers to sexual assault victims and how this relates to acknowledgment of sexual assault and re-victimization.

An Examination of the Roles of Cognitive-Affective Sexual Appraisals and Coping Strategies in the Relationship between Sexual Victimization and Sexual Functioning (Kelley)

The purpose of this study is to examine patterns of sexual functioning related to sexual assault and to identify variables relating to different sexual functioning patterns and behaviors.

The Relationship between Child and Adult Sexual Abuse and Disordered Eating in College Women (Johnson, Thesis)

The purpose of the current study is to examine the effects of childhood and adult sexual abuse on college women’s disordered eating. This study also examines the pathways that account for these relationships. Finally, this study prospectively examines the relationship between adult sexual abuse and disordered eating.

Lab Members

Dr. Christine Gidycz, Program Director (link to bio). She oversees all laboratory projects and, most recently, is working on projects related to predicting and understanding bystander behavior as it relates to intervening in high risk sexual situations. She is also overseeing projects related to the conceptualization of sexual assault experiences, disclosure, and trauma effects.

  • Megan Murphy, Graduate Student
  • Valessa St. Pierre, Graduate Student
  • Erin Tansill, Graduate Student
  • Tina Dardis, Graduate Student
  • Erika Kelley, Graduate Student
  • Shannon Johnson, Graduate Student
  • Kathryn Kraft, Graduate Student
  • Bethany Lavins, Graduate Student

Lab Photos

Group photo of lab personnel

Group photo

Conference Presentations

Conference Presentations

Research assistants and graduate students presenting at state and national conferences and winning awards!

OU poster presentation

OU poster presentation

Research assistants presenting posters at Ohio University research conference

Graduate students at a conference

Graduate students presenting at national conferences and having fun!

Recent Publications

Heckman, B.D., Berlin, S.K., Watakokosol, R., & St. Pierre, V. (2010).

Psychosocial Headache Measures in Caucasian and African American Headache Patients: Psychometric Attributes and Measurement Invariance. Cephalalgia, 31, 1-14.

Cook, S. L., Gidycz, C. A., Koss, M. P., & Murphy, M. (2011). Emerging issues in the measurement of rape victimization. Violence Against Women, 17, 201-218.

Dardis, C.M., Edwards, K.M., Kelley, E.L. & Gidycz, C.A. (in press). Dating Violence Perpetration: The Predictive Roles of Maternally versus Paternally Perpetrated Childhood Abuse and Subsequent Dating Violence Attitudes and Behaviors. Journal of Child and Adolescent Trauma.

Edwards, K. M., Kearns, M. C., Gidycz, C. A., & Calhoun, K. S. (2012). Predictors of relationship stability following a sexual assault. Violence and Victims, 27, 25-32.

Edwards, K. M., Gidycz, C. A., & Murphy, M. (2011). College women’s stay/leave decisions in sexually violent relationships: A prospective analysis of an expanded investment model. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 26, 1446-1462.

Edwards, K. M., Murphy, M. J., Tansill, E. C., Myrick, C. A., Probst, D. R., Corsa, R., & Gidycz, C. A. (2012). A qualitative analysis of college women’s leaving processes in abusive relationships. Journal of American College Health, 60, 204-210.

Edwards, K. M, Myrick, C. A., Johnson, S. M., & Gidycz, C.A. (2011). Feminist mentoring within a trauma-focused research laboratory. Trauma Psychology Newsletter, 6, 14-16.

Edwards, K., Probst, D., Tansill, E., & Gidycz, C. (In Press). Women’s reactions to participation in interpersonal trauma research: A longitudinal study. Journal of Interpersonal Violence.

Edwards, K.M., Turchik, J., Dardis, C.M, Reynolds, N. & Gidycz., C.A. (2011). A Critical Analysis of Rape Myths: Their History, Development, and Societal Manifestations. Sex Roles, 65, 761-773. doi: 10.1077/s11199-011-9943-2

Edwards, K. E., Dardis, C., & Gidycz, C. A. (2011). The role of adolescent victimization in women’s aggression. Invited book chapter in M. Paludi (Ed). The psychology of teen violence and victimization. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger.

Edwards, K.M., Dardis, C.M., & Gidycz, C.A. (in press).College women’s disclosure of partner abuse to peers: A mixed methodological study. Feminism & Psychology.

Edwards, K. M., Gidycz, C. A., & Desai, A. D. (in press). Men’s reactions to participating in interpersonal violence research. Journal of Interpersonal Violence.

Gidycz, C. A. (2011). Sexual revictimization revisted: A commentary. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 35, 355-361. (Invited Commentary)

Gidycz, C. A., Orchowski, L. M., & Berkowitz, A. (2011). Preventing sexual aggression among college men: An evaluation of a social norms and bystander intervention program. Violence Against Women, 17, 720-742. (Invited Manuscript)

Gidycz, C. A., Orchowski, L. M., Probst, D. M., Edwards, K. M., Murphy, M. J., & Tansill, E. C. (in press). Concurrent administration of sexual assault prevention and risk reduction programming for college students: Outcomes for women. Violence Against Women.

Gidycz, C. A., Warkentin, J. B., Orchowski, L. M., & Edwards, K. M (2011). College men’s perceived likelihood to perpetrate sexual aggression. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment, and Trauma, 20, 260-279.

Miller, A. K., Canales, E. J., Amacker, A. M., Backstrom, T. L., & Gidycz, C. A. (2011). Stigma threat and sexual revictimization: A prospective analysis. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 35, 119-128.

Mouilso, E. R., Calhoun, K. S., & Gidycz, C. A. (2011). Effects of participation in a sexual assault risk reduction program on psychological distress following revictimization. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 26, 769-788.

Murphy, M. J., Edwards, K. E., Merrill, J., & Gidycz, C. A. (2011). Undergraduate women’s reactions to body image and eating disorder research. Accountability in Research, 18, 55-69

Murphy, M. J., Mermelstein, L. C., Edwards, K. M., & Gidycz, C. A. (2012). The benefits of dispositional mindfulness in physical health: A longitudinal study of female college students. Journal of American College Health, 60, 341-348.

Orchowski, L. M., & Gidycz, C. A. (in press). Psychological consequences associated with positive and negative responses to disclosure of sexual assault among college women: A prospective study. Violence Against Women.

Orchowski, L. M., & Gidycz, C. A. (2012). Who do college women confide in following a sexual assault? A prospective analysis of predictors of sexual assault disclosure and social reactions. Violence Against Women, 18, 264-288.

Orchowski, L. M., Untied, A. S., & Gidycz, C. A. (2012). Reducing risk for sexual victimization: An analysis of perceived socio-emotional consequences of self-protective behaviors. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 27, 1743-1761.

Tansill, E., Edwards, K., Kearns, M., Gidycz, C., & Calhoun, K. (2012). The mediating role of trauma-related symptoms in the relationship between sexual victimization and physical health symptomatology in undergraduate women. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 25, 79-85.

Turchik, J. A., & Gidycz, C. A. (2012). Exploring the intention-behavior relationship in the prediction of sexual risk behaviors: Can it be strengthened? Journal of Sex Research, 49, 50-60.

Turchik, J. A., & Gidycz, C. A. (2012). Prediction of sexual risk behaviors in college students using the Theory of Planned Behavior: A prospective analysis. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 31, 1-27.

Recent Presentations

Lavins, B.D., González-Vallejo, C. (2013, November). Health, Beliefs and Cognition: An Exploration of the Compensatory Health Beliefs Scale. Poster session presented at the Society for Judgment and Decision Making Conference, November 14-18, Toronto, Ontario.

Lavins, B.D., González-Vallejo, C. (2013, May). The Compensatory Health Beliefs Scale. Poster session presented at the Midwestern Cognitive Science Conference, Columbus, OH.

Recent Poster Presentations

Johnson, S. M., Murphy, M. J., Edwards, K. M., Scanlin, M., Hudson, J., & Gidycz, C. A. (2012, August). Sexual Experiences Survey: Participant reactions to internet versus paper/pencil administration. Poster presentation at the annual convention of the American Psychological Association, Orlando, FL.

Gidycz, C. A., & Murphy, M. J. (2012, August). Women's reactions to partner abuse research: A mixed methodological study. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, Orlando, FL.

Murphy, M. J., Edwards, K. M., Merrill, J., Johnson, S. M., & Gidycz, C. A. (2012, May). Women’s reactions to body image and eating disorder research. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association, Chicago, IL.

Johnson, S. M., Murphy, M. J., & Gidycz, C. A. (2012, May). The impact of childhood sexual abuse, adult sexual abuse, and current partner sexual abuse on college women’s body dissatisfaction and disordered eating patterns. Poster presentation at the annual meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association, Chicago, IL.

Kelley, E. L., Edwards, K. M., Dardis, C. M., & Gidycz, C. A. (May, 2012). Coping with dating violence and anticipated social reactions to disclosure. A poster presented at the annual meeting for the Midwestern Psychological Association, Chicago, IL.

Tansill, E., Probst, D. P., Edwards, K. M., & Gidycz, C.A. (2012, May). Interpersonal problems and psychological outcomes in interpersonal violence survivors. Poster presented at the Annual Meeting for the Midwestern Psychological Association,Chicago, IL.

Kelley, E., Edwards, K., Dardis, C., & Gidycz, C. (November, 2011). Coping in response to dating violence and anticipated social reactions to disclosure of dating violence. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, Baltimore, Maryland.

Kelley, E., Murphy, M., & Gidycz, C. (November, 2011). An examination of risk factors for sexual victimization and revictimization among college women. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, Baltimore, Maryland.

Kinzer, K., Kraft, K., & Marcks, B. A. (2012, April). Relationship between intolerance of uncertainty and healthcare service utilization. Poster session presented at the annual Anxiety Disorders Association of America conference, Arlington, VA.

Kraft, K., Kinzer, A., & Marcks, B. A. (2012, April) Impact of depressive symptoms on attributions about thought suppression failure and related affect. Poster session presented at the annual conference of the Anxiety Disorders Association of America, Arlington, VA.

Tansill, E., Edwards, K. M., Gidycz, C. A., Kearns, M., & Calhoun, K. (2011, November). Hypothesized mediators between sexual victimization and physical health symptomatology. Poster presented at the Annual Meeting for the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, Baltimore, MD.

Hudson, J. T., Williamson, M., Mermer, S. D., Hanna, N. M., Tansill, E. C., Edwards, K. M., Probst, D. R. Probst, & Gidycz, C. A. (2011, October). Childhood exposure to domestic violence predicting adulthood interpersonal distress, psychological distress, and dating violence victimization: A Study of College Women. Poster presented at the Annual Ohio Psychological Association Convention, Columbus, OH.

Dardis, T.M., Kelley, E.L., Edwards, K.M., & Gidycz, C.A. (2011, August). Abused Women’s Perceptions of Investment Model Variables. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, Washington, D.C.

Dardis, T.M., Kelley, E.L., Edwards, K.M., & Gidycz, C.A. (2011, August). Perceptions of Stay/Leave Decisions Questionnaire: Reliability and Validity. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, Washington, D.C.

Kelley, E.L., Edwards, K.M., Dardis, C.M., Ellis, G., & Gidycz, C.A. (2011, August). Coping Strategies, Gender, and the Use of Violence in Dating Relationships. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, Washington, D.C.

Kelley, E., Tansill, E., Orchowski, L., & Gidycz, C. (2011, August). Predictors of male perpetration of sexual aggression: Identifying potential target factors for programming efforts. Poster presented at the Annual American Psychological Association Convention, Washington, DC.

Recent Paper Presentations and Symposia

Murphy, M. J., Gidycz, C. A., & Scanlin, M. (2012, August). Reliability and validity of the Sexual Experiences Survey – Short Forms Victimization & Perpetration. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, Orlando, FL.

Edwards, K. M., Sylaska, K., Murphy, M. J., & Gidycz, C. A. (2012, August). Factors influencing young women’s readiness to leave an abusive relationship. In K. M. Edwards (Chair), Women’s experiences of partner violence and sexual assault: An ecological understanding of recovery. Symposium conducted at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, Orlando, FL.

Dardis, C.M. & Gidycz, C.A. (2012, July). Sexual Assault by Verbal Coercion, Force, or Incapacitation: Examining Psychological Consequences, Attributions of Responsibility, and Social Reactions to Disclosure. Paper presented at the International Family Violence Conference, Durham, N.H.

Dardis, C.M. & Gidycz, C.A. (2012, July). Mental Health Outcomes of Combinations of Sexual, Psychological, and Physical Abuse Experiences: Distress, Trauma, and Coping. Paper presented at the International Family Violence Conference, Portsmouth, N.H.

Edwards, K., Dardis, C., Kelley, E., & Gidycz, C. (2012, July). Perceptions of Dating Violence and Associated Correlates: A Study of College Women and Men. Paper presented at the International Family Violence Conference, Portsmouth, N.H.

Kelley, E. L., & Gidycz, C. A. (July, 2012). Examining the role of body dissatisfaction and sexual self-esteem in sexual functioning outcomes among college women with a history of sexual victimization. A paper presented at the annual International Family Violence Research Conference, Portsmouth, NH.

Kelley, E. L., & Gidycz, C. A. (July, 2012). The relationship between sexual victimization, cognitive-affective sexual appraisals, and sexual functioning. A panel paper presented at the annual International Family Violence Research Conference, Portsmouth, NH.

Murphy, M. J., St. Pierre, V., & Gidycz, C. A. (2012, July). Assessing acknowledgment of rape: A Comparison of paper/pencil and Internet surveys. Paper presented at the annual International Family Violence and Child Victimization Research Conference, Portsmouth, NH.

St. Pierre, V., Murphy, M. J., Vincent, J., & Gidycz, C. A. (2012, July). Evaluation of a brief sexual assault psyhoeducational program with female college students. Paper presented at the annual International Family Violence and Child Victimization Research Conference, Portsmouth, NH.

Tansill, E., Edwards, K. M., Berlin, K. S., Probst, D. R.., & Gidycz, C. A. (2012, July). Deriving patterns of lifetime interpersonal violence among college women using latent variable mixture modeling. In K. Edwards (Chair), Interpersonal Violence Victimization among College Students: Psychological, Physical, Interpersonal, and Academic Outcomes. Symposium conducted the Annual International Family Violence and Child Victimization Research Conference, Portsmouth, NH.

Dardis, C.M. & Gidycz, C.A. (2012, May). A Prospective Study of College Women’s Sexual Assault Acknowledgment and its Relationship to Revictimization, Distress, and Social Reactions. Symposia presented at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association, Chicago, IL.

Kelley, E. L., & Gidycz, C. A. (May, 2012). Relationship between sexual assault acknowledgment and sexual appraisals and coping. A paper presented at the annual meeting for the Midwestern Psychological Association, Chicago, IL.

Dardis, C.M., & Gidycz, C.A. (2011, November). College Women’s Labeling of Sexual Assault: Individual, Situational, and Social Network Factors. Symposia presented at the Annual Meeting for the Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, Toronto, Ontario, CA.

Dardis, C.M., Kelley, E.L., Edwards, K.M., & Gidycz, C.A. (2011, November). Panel member for discussion entitled, “Addressing Violence Against Women Through Advocacy: A Multilevel Approach for Psychologists.” Panel Discussion presented at the Annual Meeting for the Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, Toronto, Ontario, CA.

Edwards, K. M., Murphy, M. J., Tansill, E., Myrick, C., Probst, D. R., Corsa, R., & Gidycz, C. (2011, November). A qualitative analysis of college women’s leaving processes in abusive relationships. In A. DePrince and R. Matlow (Chairs), Intimate partner abuse: Appraisals, decision-making, and responses to intervention. Symposium conducted at the annual meeting of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, Baltimore, MD.

Kelley, E.L., Dardis, C.M., Edwards, K.M., Ellis, G. & Gidycz, C.A. (2011, November). Men and Women’s Reactions to Interpersonal Violence Research: A Mixed Methodological Study. Symposia presented at the International Society for Traumatic Stress Study, Baltimore, Maryland.

Dardis, T.M., Kelley, E.L., Edwards, K.M. & Gidycz, C. A. (2011, May). Men's Perceptions of Sexual Violence and Relationship to Attitudes and Sexually Aggressive Behavior. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association, C

Murphy, M. J., Dardis, C. M., & Gidycz, C. A. (2011, May). Men’s perceptions of peers’ and close friend’s sexual attitudes and behaviors. Paper presented at annual meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association, Chicago, IL.

Wilson, S. M., Murphy, M. J., Dardis, C. M., & Gidycz, C. A. (2011, May). The impact of social norms variables on prosocial bystander behavior: A prospective analysis. Paper presented at annual Meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association, Chicago, IL.

Recent Grants

Affective Modulation of Nociception in Interpersonal Violence Survivors, Competitive Graduate Student Research Grant, funded: June 2012, $500 (Erin Tansill)

The Relationship between Sexual Assault Acknowledgment and Social Reactions to Disclosure: A Prospective Analysis, Ohio University Student Enhancement Award, funded: 2011, $3,119 (Erika Kelley)

An Examination of the Roles of Cognitive-Affective Sexual Appraisals and Coping Strategies in the Relationship between Sexual Victimization and Sexual Functioning, Ohio University Graduate Student Senate Original Work Grant, funded: March 2011, $306 (Erika Kelley)

Recent Awards

Recipient of the Ohio University Graduate Student Senate Travel Grant (2012) – Valessa St. Pierre

Recipient of the Ohio University Graduate Transition Fellowship (2011) – Valessa St. Pierre

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