Alcohol use and sexual victimization among Hispanic college women

Martha Ann Montgomery, Florida International University


Sexual victimization of young women typically occurs within a context of alcohol use, such that women are more likely to be victimized on days on which they consume alcohol compared to days on which no alcohol is consumed. Additionally, most research on sexual victimization of women has focused on forced sexual acts; consequently, little is known about forms sexual victimization that college women typically experience, such as brief (e.g., unwanted touching) or verbally coerced experiences (e.g., doing sexual things to prevent a partner from leaving). Finally, there is a need for more research on the processes underlying college women's drinking and the specific mechanisms through which drinking increases risk for sexual victimization. This dissertation sought to replicate recent findings of a temporal association between alcohol use and sexual victimization, and to investigate whether or not binge use increased risk for victimization, within a sample of young Hispanic college women, using repeated-measures logistic regression. This study also aimed to identify and explore typologies of victimization experiences in order to better understand types of sexual victimization common among young college women. Finally, the validity of a model of alcohol use and sexual victimization was investigated using structural equation modeling techniques. The results confirmed and extended previous research by demonstrating an increase in the conditional probability of sexual victimization on days of alcohol consumption compared with days of no alcohol consumption, and on days of binge alcohol consumption compared with days of moderate alcohol consumption. Sexual victimization experiences reported in this study were diverse, and cluster analysis was used to identify and explore specific typologies of victimization experiences, including intimate relationship victimization, brief victimization with stranger, prolonged victimization with acquaintance, and workplace victimization. The results from structural equation modeling (SEM) analyses were complex and helped to illuminate the relationships between reasons for drinking, alcohol use, childhood sexual abuse, sexual victimization, psychopathology, and acculturation-related factors among Hispanic college women. These findings have implications for the design of university-based prevention and intervention efforts aimed at reducing rates of alcohol-related sexual victimization within Hispanic populations.

Subject Area

Behaviorial sciences|Social psychology|Womens studies|Developmental psychology|Hispanic Americans

Recommended Citation

Montgomery, Martha Ann, "Alcohol use and sexual victimization among Hispanic college women" (2007). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI3279231.